It didn’t hurt in this place.
She didn’t remember much after the blast, only that a voice had told her she only had one call to make when she woke up in this foggy place. A dream? And didn’t people in jail get just one call?
Nanial staggered forward, noticing a large box in the middle of the haze. In what felt like hours, she finally reached it. She saw that it was a pay phone. There had been vids of these things, and she patted her nearly destroyed bloody armor.
A quarter. Heh.
The blonde didn’t waste any time in putting the quarter into the machine as she cradled the headset between her ear and shoulder. Before she could press any buttons, it started ringing, her mangled hand falling to her side.
She waited, beginning to feel the pain beginning to wash over her body, but she waited.
“H… Hello? Who is this?”
Nanial smiled even though it ached to do it. “Liara,” she croaked out.
“N… N-Nanial? How? What are you doing? No, how in the Goddess are you doing- No, am I dreaming? Oh Goddess, Nanial…”
There were choked sobs on the other end. Nanial rested her head against the pay phone, feeling the strain to breathe as if there was a heavy pressure on her chest. “Liara, I don’t have much time here, but I got a phone call and… I wanted to… to let you know I’m on my way back. I made a promise.”
The phone disconnected with a beep.
Chapter 2: Beneath the Rubble
Breaching security to get to the rubble was an easy thing for Liara. She had avoided it after Nanial Shepard had disappeared, after she had dragged Tali’s limp body from the area, after the Reapers had left. Being in the area with Garrus, eyes searching, she could feel all the emotions from that day swamping over her.
She pushed away some rubble, wiping her forehead as she continued to search. The two fingers that she had lost in a husk’s mouth ached with an invisible and ghostly presence. The dream where she had heard her voice was still replaying over and over in her head, unable to let her focus.
I’m on my way back.
The Asari started pushing at an over turned car. “Liara, we should take a break.”
I made a promise.
“Liara, you’re going to exhaust yourse-”
She flung around, biotics burning brightly around her as she glared at the Turian. “I saved your girl, now help me save mine!”
He stared at her, scratching at fresh bandages as his mandibles twitched as if he had something else to say yet had lost his train of thought.
She knew there was only a slim chance that the Commander had made it, but it was still a chance.
“I see something.”
“I may have taken a few punches more than suggested to the face, but my sight is still all here. There’s movement.”
“But all the husks were-”
She stopped, realizing what this could mean.
Before she could ask where, he was pointing and climbing over the debris himself. As she followed him, she desperately searched for the movement herself, wanting to see that familiar face, that goofy grin like when she had emerged from the rubble after Saren’s fight.
A twitching hand.
“It looks like they’re pinned!”
“Let me.” He skidded to a stop to let Liara move forward, and she powered her biotics to full force. In one large swell of a throw, the heaviest pieces were blasted away. She ran over to the fallen body, digging and tossing the rest of the things, murmuring a prayer under her breath as she did so.
A cracked groan met her ears, and she covered her mouth with one hand, the other hovering next to the soldier’s cheek. Eyelids peeled open showing bloodshot vibrant green eyes. She opened her lips and mouthed something, but no words came out. Liara quickly took out a flask of water, shakily attempting to pour it while carefully cradling the head of burnt blonde hair.
“I’m glad you came,” she wheezed out, closing her eyes. “I couldn’t find another quarter.”