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Faith and Hope

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"Please take me as your apprentice!"

Saren Arterius, famed turian Spectre, looked at the small, quivering human female with open disgust.

He'd been relaxing on the presidium at one of his favorite cafes with Nihlus Kryik, his friend and fellow Spectre. The two of them hadn't seen each other in almost three years, and this mewling pestilence had the nerve to approach them and interrupt their personal time. Simply saying 'no' was no longer an option, Saren realised as he seethed. This human had to be made to suffer before he threw her out. Resting casually on his elbows and putting on a false smile, one that Nihlus recognized with a groan, Saren gestured the girl forward.

"And just why, my dear, would I want to do that?" Saren asked in a gentle, purring tone. The human at least had the decency to look slightly uncomfortable.

"I'm useful, in many ways..." The girl said nervously. Damned whore, Saren sneered inwardly. Her species was so quick to offer themselves sexually, even when nobody wanted them around. Saren was half a mind to bioticly throw her over the railing when she continued. "I can cook, I can clean, -"

"My interest is fading quickly. Believe me when I say that you do not want that to happen." Saren said in a dangerous tone, though his smile remained. The human, sadly, did not turn and run away. Instead, his comment seemed to embolden her. She stood up straight, her gray-blue eyes looking unwavering into his own.

"I can also hack any system you put in front of me." She replied. Saren snorted.

"Your declaration is meaningless if you cannot support it through action."

The girl nodded, bringing up her omni-tool. Saren glared at her as she typed a few things, though he thought he spied a faint greenish glow coming from her hands. After only a few moments, the girl approached him, turning the display so he could better see it. With alarm, Saren realized it was his own Omni-tool desktop. Nihlus whistled, too easily impressed in Saren's opinion.

"You just hacked a Spectre's Omni-Tool in less than two minutes." Nihlus stated the obvious. Saren glared over at him, then turned his gaze back to the overly-triumphant looking human. He no longer bothered to smile or put on false pretenses.

"You have five seconds to give me one reason not execute you on the grounds of being a security risk." Saren growled, flexing his long-taloned fingers. The girl didn't back away, though he clearly saw the fear in her eyes.

"Because, as I said, I'm useful." The girl jutted her chin out in a false show of bravery. "Better to train me for your own uses than to allow an organization like the Alliance Military to get their hands on me. Besides," the girl gave him a grin, making him glare harder, "I don't think even you, a known human-hater, would be able to get away with murdering a human teenager at the Presidium, in broad daylight, no matter what reason you gave."

Nihlus chuckled, diffusing some of the tension. Saren turned his glare back towards his fellow turian, though it was more annoyed than dangerous.

"She's gutsy at least." He grinned at Saren. Saren growled in irritation.

"'Gutsy' does not denote usefulness." Saren snapped at his friend. He turned back to the human, who had put away her Omni-tool. "You know I do not care for humans. Why offer yourself to me? Why not approach Nihlus? He's obviously interested."

Saren ignored the scoff from Nihlus; he'd earned that implication. This human was just his type, with a narrow waist that flowed into wide hips and rounded legs. Her long hair, worn down and loosely, was a bright red that brought the eye naturally to her head and long, thin neck. She was built just right for those Turians who lusted for Asari and their 'exotic curves and colors'. Though Saren might favor certain Asari on occasion, he had never really found them attractive; just convenient.

The girl frowned, shaking her head. "Because the Alliance isn't intimidated by Spectre Kryik." She replied. Saren was only marginally impressed that she knew Nihlus' family name and referred to him in a respectful way. "If I were to approach him, they'd simply ignore anything he did and keep me tied down. After all, they want me kept on their leash. However, you, sir, are far more frightening to any human than anything else that has ever existed. Uh, no disrespect intended."

Nihlus was now laughing, much to Saren's increased irritation. Once more, he glared at the female, though his curiosity was beginning to get the better of him.

"Why are you so desperate to get away from the Alliance? If you don't wish to serve with them, don't sign up." He snarled. The girl did not have a talent for hiding her emotions, Saren noticed. No sooner had he mentioned signing up than a swift look of pain and regret and... was that fear?

"I wasn't given a choice. They have my sister..." she trailed off. Saren perked up, almost feeling a sense of delight. The Alliance involved in a scandal? Any chance to pull those pathetic upstarts back down to where they belonged. Saren managed to smile, somewhat genuinely, before he quickly hid it.

"Don't give half answers." Saren barked, bringing the girl up short. She straightened slightly, looking angry.

"My older sister and I are from Mindior. After the slaver attack, the Alliance brought us here. Out of fear, my sister signed up, without talking to me first. The recruiter hunted me down, got me alone, and threatened to send my sister to all sorts of horrible places if I didn't sign as well." The girl looked on the verge of tears, her limbs trembling. Saren snorted, not wanting to deal with her blubbering.

"Do you have any proof?" Nihlus asked. She shook her head.

"I know there were cameras in the room, but I haven't been able to find anything from that day to incriminate them. And even if I did find something, who could I turn to?" She asked, somewhat impertinently. "I've spent the past two years doing everything I could to find a way out without putting my sister at risk, but they've got us under lock and key. Now I have no time left; they're shipping us out tonight."

"So in a fit of hopeless desperation you came to me with the mindset that I would rescue you from your own stupidity." Saren snarled, looking at her with renewed disgust. "You made your mistake; deal with it on your own." The girl looked about to protest, but Saren held up a taloned finger threateningly to stall her, then pointed away. "Leave now, human, before my charity runs out and I end your worthless existence."

The girl paused, staring him down with an unreadable expression. Finally, she bowed slightly, surprising Saren once more with her manners.

"Thank you for taking the time to listen to my request. I apologize for intruding on you both." Though her voice was tight, Saren sensed her gratitude was sincere. He watched her leave with an unreadable expression. A slight chuckle brought his attention back to his friend, who was smirking at him.

"You're interested." Nihlus wiggled his mandibles in amusement. Saren snorted.

"If what she whined about has a fraction of truth to it, than the Alliance could be in a great deal of trouble. That makes me feel warm all over." Saren's tone dripped with sarcasm. "And while she may have had marginal skills in hacking, the green glow to her hands held my interest more. I've never seen any type of biotics that would create something like that, and I have a inclination that it aided in the hacking of my omni-tool."

Nihlus chuckled.

"You're interested."

"Don't make me murder you."