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Shepard's Dream Catcher

Chapter Text

Once Amber and Saren finished their breakfast and suited up the next day, they left the apartment and met up with Kelly and Garrus near a balcony at the Presidium.

"See down there?" Garrus asked, gesturing further across the area, "there's the clinic."

Amber leaned onto the balcony and carefully gazed at the clinic down below.

"Who works there?" Saren inquired.

"A salarian doctor, goes by the name of Dr. Saleon," Garrus answered.

Amber took a step back from the balcony and focused her eyes on Garrus.

"Do you think he recently took interest in humans?" Amber asked.

"I don't know," Garrus shrugged, "it would be possible, seeing as humans are new on the scene and the market for anything regarding humans is largely untouched out here. He's staking out his territory."

Amber nodded while Saren read the case details in his omni-tool.

"Right. I think I might see a way in," Saren instructed, "keep at a range, run interference if things go wrong."

Amber followed behind Saren while Garrus and Kelly headed for a small park not too far from the clinic. Once the turian Spectre and the N7 soldier reached the clinic, they slipped behind the building. Checking around, Saren cautiously pried off a vent cover and peered inside.

"It's a tight fit," Saren informed, "you ready?"

Amber nodded. Both Saren and Amber climbed into the vent and crawled through the narrow tunnel on point. As they ventured through the ventilation shaft, Saren would scope ahead while they turned at a few corners. Crawling out of another vent, the two entered a refrigeration room. Amber scanned the room to ensure the coast was clear before she and Saren started searching for anything worth being used as evidence. The doctor had gained possession of quite a few organs, all preserved in almost freezing temperatures. Alongside were surgical tools and appliances, but nothing to suggest more than what the boxes upon boxes of organs already suggested.

"Now I'm wondering how Dr. Saleon managed to obtain these organs," Amber commented.

Amber examined the shelves holding the containers of frozen organs. She took notice of a shelf's label "Human" as well as only a small amount of boxes lined up underneath. She gulped nervously before moving along. At the entrance to the walking refrigerator, Saren peeked out and looked around for anyone besides themselves. Moments later, an attendant approached from around the corner while carrying a box of a few organs. Still staying behind the door, he waited till the attendant drew close before sharply yanking them in, slamming the refrigerator door behind him.

"This is a nice collection of organs you have," Saren smirked, "care to explain how you got them?"

"I-I-I…I'm sorry?" the attendant blurted, "who are you? What do you mean?"

Amber paused in her tracks and stepped closer to the attendant.

"Do you already have some human clients awaiting a transplant?" Amber folded her arms.

"I…I don't know what you're talking a—"

The attendant had his face slammed against the glass door for the shelving unit for the stored organs.

"Then what are these? You can read, can't you? Or does the good doctor hire incompetent individuals for workplace diversity?" Saren grumbled.

The attendant made a brief glance at the labels out of the corner of his eye.

"I just handle the organs, sir! He doesn't tell me anything about how he gets them!"

Saren slammed the attendant against the door frame again, rendering him unconscious. Saren and Amber walked out of the refrigeration room.

"We'll have to look farther. Maybe there's a terminal with data on his supply. It'll be good practice for you," he said.

"Right," Amber nodded.

While no one was around, they snooped from office to office until they found a central office towards the back. Saren accessed the terminal and began scrutinizing the files. Amber looked over his shoulder and began to read alongside.

"See anything?" Amber asked.

Saren nodded.

"Yeah, definitely…"

That was when Saren and Amber found a list of patients in one of the files. Suddenly, another employee burst into the room, looking deathly sick.

"Sir, I…uh, who are…?" she stammered as she wandered in.

Amber spun around quickly and took a moment to identify the employee. It was an asari, her skin appearing unnaturally pale.

"Ma'am," Amber asked, "are you all right?"

The woman was beginning to sweat profusely and her breathing was heavily labored.

"He…uses us…"

The asari stumbled before she fell over, so Amber thought fast and caught her in her arms. Now the asari was coughing blood.

"The-the…organs…he grows…grows…"

Eyes widening in horror, Saren desperately got on his omni-tool.

"Vakarian, get ready for us," Saren instructed, "we're coming out with one of the employees here. She's most likely in bad shape, and she's also the only one who can tell us what's going on here."

{Copy that,} Garrus replied over the com-link, {we're on our way.}

Lifting the asari over his shoulder, Saren and Amber ran back out with the asari, pushing aside anyone who got in their way. Outside, Garrus and Kelly were waiting in a hovercar with the door open.

"Shepard," Kelly called over, "how is she?"

"Bad," Amber answered, "get her to Huerta, it's not far from here. We're heading back in!"

Garrus nodded while he and Kelly carefully carried the asari into the hovercar and settled her into a seat.

"I'll try to keep you two informed, see what we get out of her," Garrus added before taking off.

Once the hovercar was out of sight, Saren and Amber began charging back into the clinic. Another nurse approached them.

"Sir, I'm going to have to ask—" the nurse demanded.

"Dr. Saleon, where is he?" Saren interrupted.

The nurse froze before he could finish his sentence.

"Why are you here?" he asked.

"Your employer has been suspected of illegal activities," Saren explained, "all I need is to ask a few questions."

Saren folded his arms to further emphasize his point. The nurse nodded.

"I'll call him down," he offered.

"That won't be necessary," Saren declined.

Saren and Amber pushed past the nurse, burst through into the stairwell and rushed up to the top level of the clinic. Once they reached the door to Saleon's office, Amber noticed it was locked, so she turned on her omni-tool. Quickly prying at the lock, she kicked down the door. Inside, they found Dr. Saleon working on his database in his terminal. Shortly after he heard the door open, he calmly looked back at the two.

"Is there something I can help you two with?" he asked.

Saren didn't say anything as he strode towards the salarian doctor. That was when Garrus suddenly pinged his omni-tool. Gesturing to Amber to keep an eye on Saleon, he picked up the call.

"What did you find?" Saren asked.

{She didn't make it. They ran an autopsy, and that was the real kicker. Her body cavity is covered with cuts and incisions. That bastard had additional organs growing in her, and one of them went bad,} Garrus answered.

Amber's eyes widened, yet she kept her eyes locked onto Dr. Saleon as he trembled nervously. She thought fast and blocked the doorway. Suddenly, the doctor flashed a hand out, tossing a flashbang at the two. Without warning, the ensuing explosive knocked Saren and Amber to the ground. As they recovered from the explosive's effects, Saleon bolted for the door. Saren slowly staggered to his feet and hoisted Amber from the floor before they began their pursuit. Saren kept up the chase while continuing his call with Garrus.

"Did she say anything else?" Saren demanded, "anything that could help us determine what he was doing to them?"

{That was it. She said he was harvesting the organs from their bodies and selling them on the black market while they would receive a small portion of the profits. If they grew poorly, he'd take their original organs and leave the underdeveloped organs to fester. They were quite literally living test tubes.}

"Good work. For now, Saleon's on the run. Group up with me, try and cut him off."

{Right away,} Garrus answered over the com-link.

The two were now back onto the streets, and rushing after the salarian doctor as he pushed his way through the crowds. Amber quickly double-checked the map in her omni-tool for any places to outflank him. She disappeared into the crowds, leaving Saren to continue his pursuit. The turian Spectre kept his eyes locked onto the fleeing salarian doctor as they turned at a corner. Keeping his eyes on the salarian doctor, he didn't notice Amber rushing in from another path, knocking down Saleon with a sharp kick. Saren may have been surprised, but he felt his boost of confidence before he pinned Saleon to the ground.

"Nice try, doctor. You're coming with us."

Just then, Garrus arrived from around the corner and met up with Saren and Amber.

"Dr. Saleon, with sufficient evidence, you are under arrest for the physical abuse of your customers and the sale of goods on an illegal marketplace," Garrus started, slapping on a pair of holocuffs on the salarian.

Saren stood to his feet, allowing Garrus to hoist Dr. Saleon to his feet.

"Thanks again, Arterius. Good to work with you again."

Saren nodded at Garrus before he and Amber strolled through their street, making their way towards the clinic. Garrus had called the case in, and now the clinic was swarming with C-Sec officers. Some of them were escorting patients outside. Over the course of the rest of the day, Saren and Amber had confirmed what the dying nurse told them, that his own employees were being used growing vessels for organs on the black market. Additionally, Kelly's friend and a few others had been administered a dose of the organ-growing hormone and would also be administered to Huerta for treatment. In the meantime, Saren and Amber waited in the hospital lobby until Kelly and Garrus arrived through the door.

"I think we can take it from here. Thanks again," Garrus informed.

Saren nodded at Garrus before he and Amber stood to their feet and left the hospital. Garrus and Kelly didn't hesitate as they approached the receptionist's counter.

"I…I can't believe…" Kelly stammered.

"It's over, and he's behind bars. That's all that matters," Garrus reassured.

Garrus shifted his attention towards the receptionist.

"Hi," the receptionist greeted, "how may I help you?"

"I assume everyone from Dr. Saleon's clinic has been tended to?" Garrus asked.

"Yes," the receptionist nodded.

"A few humans were brought in, could we see them please?" Garrus prompted.

The receptionist scrolled through the list in the terminal.

"One of them is recovering from her surgery," the receptionist, "but she's awake, from what I hear. Would you like to see her?"

Kelly nodded.

"I would appreciate it," Kelly answered, "thank you."

A few minutes later, they were directed to one of the floors where Saleon's victims were being treated. Kelly spotted her close friend resting in a bed at the far corner in the room, so she and Garrus slowly approached the patient in question.

"Is Kiandra conscious right now?" Kelly asked.

Upon cue, Kiandra groaned as she slowly sat up.

"Hey, Kelly. I didn't think I'd see you here," she gave a weak smile.

Sighing in relief, Kelly sat in a chair next to Kiandra's bed.

"Sorry. I looked for you at the docks," Kiandra blurted, "I got your message, but I couldn't find you."

"I see," Kelly replied softly, "do you remember anything after that?"

She sighed.

"Woke up at that damned hospital and…I just don't want to think about it right now, okay?"

Kelly slowly nodded in agreement.

"All right," Kelly said, "it's good to know you're safe, though."

She rose to her feet and left the room with Garrus. They didn't say much until they left the hospital.

"Hey, Garrus?" Kelly told him, "I appreciate your help. Thanks."

"No problem. I'm glad I could help," Garrus smiled.

As they ventured through the Presidium, Kelly and Garrus held hands. He enjoyed her light-hearted personality, finding her helpful for getting through the grim life of a C-Sec officer. Maybe one day, he'll figure out what he could provide for her as well.