Kenna Peirce’s eyes grew large looking around the holding dock, after being there for days she was still getting used to it. There were so many different species, much more than what she had seen on Bekenstein, which had been primarily human colony. She lost track of the other adults and children from her evacuation shuttle. Many had been picked up by family or had left to find someone they knew. Kenna’s parents had not come yet, but they promised they would. She just had to wait, but it was getting more and more difficult. Every day there were more frightened people fleeing for safety, often there were fights over food or a place to sleep, and already she was learning who to avoid. The batarian priest wasn’t too bad, but some other batarians would say mean things or try to take her food saying she owed them since it was her people who destroyed their relay and families.
As if by thinking of the mean types, the worst human appeared to be heading her way. Darner Vosque was always ogling the girls and tried to talk Kenna into getting a job with his merc group, Blue Suns, as what she would be doing he didn’t mention but she wasn’t too young to recognize the look in his eyes. Panicking she looked around and spotted a turian officer at Citadel Security desk. Well, when in trouble, cops were supposed to be there to help right? Hopefully, he could scare the asshole off. She walked over and waited quietly by his desk trying to look like she was there for a reason.
The turian looked over at her expectantly, he was one of the regular patrol officers and she had seen him dealing with disputes before. “What’s going on here?”
Kenna put her hands behind her back to keep from fidgeting, telling herself keep it simple, “I’m waiting.”
The officer quirked his head to the side and asked, “Waiting? Waiting for who?”
Kenna kept her voice light, “For my parents. They put me on the rescue transport and said to wait for them here. They’ll come find me as soon as they can.” She took a moment to glance over her shoulder. Vosque was frowning but didn’t come any closer.
“Well… I guess this is a safe enough place.” He replied awkwardly looking past Kenna he spotted the merc watching them, then leaned on the desk, his yellow eyes more on her level, “Look. If anyone bothers you, let me know. I’ll take care of them, okay?”
She smiled; he seemed genuinely nice, even if he looked scary, “Sure thing, sir. Thanks!”
Kenna was walking around the holding dock, not much to do but that, when she heard a deep dual toned voice call out to her.
“Hey there.” It was the sandy colored turian with the yellow eyes. Paying more attention to him she saw he had a set of red markings along the sides of his face and forehead that went past the top of his fringe and out of sight. He was the one who helped her with the leering merc a couple of days ago.
Kenna tried not to look disappointed or a second she’d hoped it was her dad or someone she knew from home, but no such luck, “Oh, it’s you. Hi.”
He kept his distance, looking uncomfortable, “Your parents get here yet?”
Every time Kenna heard a shuttle was on the way she’d wait by the exit, hoping to spot them and was always disappointed. “Nope. It’s okay, I mean – They’ll get here. They always keep their promises. They… The next shuttle was probably just late or something. That’s all.” She had to keep hoping.
“I’m sure you’re right.” He sounded as convinced as she was, which wasn’t much, “I look forward to meeting them. I’m Aeneas Vizrak by the way; if you need anything let me know.” He nodded and went back to his desk area. For the rest of his shift he seemed to keep an eye on her, and for the first time in days, she was able to relax a little.
The first time Kenna met Lieutenant Vega he seemed scary, he had tattoos like the mercs and he was huge for a human. But all the kids soon learned he was a fun loving guy who normally had candy for them. Any time he came to the Citadel he would play some rounds of cards and then round up all the bored kids. The young ones would play games with him, and he showed some of the older ones simple ways to defend themselves. Like pulling mandibles, kneeing crotches, or poking sensitive eyes. Other times he would tell them stories of working with Commander Shepard and all their adventures, curing sickness, helping the misunderstood geth. The stories were fun and gave them hope, even if they seemed too crazy to be true. Even fourteen year old Kenna needed something to hold onto, even if they were fairy tales.
Once while Vega was catching up with Kenna, Aeneas came on shift and spotted them. He stomped over and got in Vega’s face, “You need to move along. She doesn’t need any trouble.”
Kenna quickly jumped in, “Aeneas, its ok. Vega is an Alliance soldier.”
Vega nodded, and straightened to attention, “Luietent James Vega, assigned to the Normandy. No worries here Officer, just checking in with the kids.”
Aeneas looked Vega over carefully, “Alright then, thank you for your concern.”
Often, after that introduction, Kenna would catch the two sharing info on the refugee children, wanting to keep tabs on everyone. But as the days and weeks went by, only Kenna and a couple others remained. They seemed to band together, none of them wanted to face the reality of the situation, but took solace in each other.
One day while they were talking about Aeneas’ military service and all the worlds he’d seen he stopped as he saw a red headed woman walked by. She was speaking to the batarian priest, seemed to be giving him something, making the old male smile softly. It was the first time Kenna had ever seen him somewhat happy.
“What’s the matter?” She asked.
Aeneas continued watching the woman make her rounds. “That’s Commander Shepard. I’ve never seen her in person. They say she is working on getting the turians and krogan to come to a peace of sorts.”
Kenna perked up, by now she had learned about the Rachni wars and the krogan rebellions after and the remaining tensions, though Aeneas seemed to be more politically correct than many other turians. Shepard had moved on to talk to a tall pale turian whose face was heavily scarred. “I’ll be damned. Young Vakarian too.” Kenna’s face must have shown her confusion because he started to explain. “His father was in C-Sec, pretty high up before he retired. Garrus Vakarian joined, but was a bit of a hot head and dropped off the map for awhile. He was leading a special Anti-Reaper team on Palaven before leaving to rejoin the Normandy.” She could see he had more to say on that, but again kept it to himself, Aeneas wasn’t one to rock the boat.
“Wow, any chance she knows about Bekenstein evacuation?” Kenna asked hopefully, Vega never gave her a straight answer but she hadn’t seen him yet today.
Aeneas shook his head, “Sorry but I think she is focusing on the offensive in this war.” He seemed pained to point it out, and Kenna tried not to pout. It wasn’t his fault, but he was right.
Kenna thought about the Commander, not sure how anyone could face such impossible odds. No one liked talking about the war to Kenna and the other kids but there were news vids running everywhere, and some of the refugees would whisper their stories to each other when no one could sleep. Kenna heard it all. Her eyes followed the woman and said out loud to no one in particular, “Must be a lot of weight on her shoulders.”