'I feel so extraordinary, something's got a hold on me, I got this feeling I'm in motion, a sudden sense of liberty.'
Zakera Ward, 14th January 2176
Jane was a 22 year old firecracker and had been studying a course in Medical Engineering on the Shalta-Aroch Ward under the guidance of her tutor Dr. Karin Chakwas to further her education after completing her service with the Alliance 3 years prior. Wanting to excel in everything she did, she served in various systems, following her dream of seeing the stars. The month started out well, passing her course with flying colours but she soon felt she was losing her grip on the frayed end of her rope, jumping between jobs on different Wards on nearly every day of the week. Life wouldn't settle. Until she met him.
His name was Decian Chellick, a Turian C-Sec detective who'd been trying to combat illegal arms trading on the Citadel with the help of another agent named Jenna. Jane'd had some bad experiences with C-Sec in the past so she wasn't exactly their biggest fan but the night she'd met him was one she remembered vividly.
Jenna had been working undercover with C-Sec protection at Chora's Den; eavesdropping on shady customers to gain information for their investigation was relatively easy under the guise of a flirty bartender. Jane entered the club and at once the muffled music she'd heard outside overwhelmed her, the rhythmic bass reverberating in her chest and seemingly taking over the very beating of her heart. The establishment reeked of sin, it was the kind of place where no one dared to make eye contact with the other patrons, each preferring to focus solely on the Asari dancer before them. Jane took in the environment as she approached the bar, the room accented with blood red lighting, giving it a dark, hellish atmosphere that obscured the identities of every individual in sight and she could understand why Jenna's sister had been worried about her. If any of these men got wind she was working for C-Sec she'd likely never be heard from again. Jane sat at the bar for a good while, observing the scantily clad human who didn't quite belong; it was obvious she felt exposed in the tight, assless dress she wore, there was an innocence about her that just didn't fit this place.
"Why do I get the feeling you're not here to order drinks?" Jenna said nervously. It was inevitable she'd know Jane wasn't the usual clientele that frequented the club. Jane propped herself on her elbows, resting her chin in her hands.
"I just wanted to talk to you about your work with C-Sec." Jane said under her breath, leaning closer to her over the bar in an effort to appear like she was flirting with her.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Jenna began rubbing the back of her neck.
"Now, if you don't mind, I need to get back to my customers."
"It's not a game Jenna, these people are dangerous," Jane whispered harshly, but Jenna just scoffed in annoyance.
"Now you sound like my sister! Why is everyone so concerned about me? I can take care of myself... I need to go, I'm not a stripper, I don't get paid to stand around and look pretty." Jane shook her head in exasperation and decided to leave, the girl was never going to listen to anyone's advice. She was nearing the exit when a Turian bumped into her and she was about to give him what for when he leaned in to murmur in her ear.
"If you've got questions about Jenna, meet me at C-Sec Academy." His voice was a low growl and when Jane didn't respond, he pushed her away with a little force.
"Push off! I never did nothing to you. Damn newcomers, think they can run the place!" Jane only just managed to take mental note of his features before he staggered off into the simulated night. Jane's curiosity was piqued by the man, was he pretending to be drunk? Feeling compelled by him, she made her way to the C-Sec academy located near the Upper Wards.
When she arrived, his mandibles were pressed tightly to his face as if trying to hold back his voice. In the light, he looked so very different compared to the shadows of the club. Maybe it was his striking emerald eyes or his unique colony markings or- "Detective Chellick, come into my office, I wanna discuss this in private." Jane approached the desk where he was sat, working at his terminal with numerous datapads open. The office was spartan, white light making it look almost clinical.
"No offence Miss Shepard but what the hell were you thinking?" There was no sincere malice to his tone but merely annoyance.
"Excuse me?" Jane asked incredulously.
"You could have blown Jenna's cover," he responded with a tinge of anger laced with worry.
"I was offering her some advice that was supposed to help her," Jane honestly didn't see how anything was her fault, she'd just been trying to help.
"I gather that. It might seem cold letting her take all the risk but we're keeping a close eye on her." He said calmly, seemingly satisfied with her defence.
"Do you really need to risk her life to get the information you want?" Jane retorted accusingly, though Chellick was quick to interject with some pre-scripted spiel. "This job isn't easy and it's usually unpleasant... I'll take help anywhere I can find it. But since you're so concerned with her safety, maybe there's a way we can help each other," Chellick practically purred the last part of that sentence with his subharmonics but Jane knew he was trying to be professional.
"Always playing the angles Detective?" Jane joked but she was surprised when Chellick smirked back.
"It's part of the job, now are you gonna help me or not?" Jane thought for a moment and decided there couldn't be any harm in it seen as she was no longer employed.
"I'll help you but I'm gonna need some details." The detective's mandibles flexed wide as he leaned back comfortably in his chair.
"I'm trying to track down a legal arms producer, I just need some of their product. Thanks to Jenna's intel, I've learned there's a seller here on the Citadel. Meet our man named Jacks, pick up the mods and bring them back here. That'll give me everything I need." Jane nodded, mentally locking away all of the details.
"Why are you so concerned about these mods?"
"We have access to some of the most sophisticated weaponry there is, it's what gives us our edge. What do you suppose happens when we lose that edge? These give criminals an advantage we can't afford to let them keep."
"I'll persuade Jacks to tell me where these mods are coming from-" she began, only to be cut short.
"No. You tip Jacks off and all my leads will disappear faster than you can say bad-bust."interjected quickly.
"Where can I find this Jacks?"
"Jacks is down in the lower level of the markets. I'll send word through our channels that you're the buyer. Good luck uhm..."
"Jane," she replied, not realising that she hadn't yet given her name their exchange had progressed so quickly.
"Good luck Jane," he said as a goodbye. Jane wasn't a hundred percent certain why she so readily agreed to help the C-Sec officer, it's not like he offered her any credits for it either. Maybe it was the way he openly admitted to needing help. Or maybe it was just the way Jane played into the charm of his open hands.
Lower Ward Level, 15th January 2176
It was simulated morning when Jane began to make her way to the Lower Level Markets in search of this Jacks, knowing that there wouldn't be many people around so any ambush would be easily spotted. She was meandering through the stalls when a Krogan who seemed to recognise her, stopped her.
"Hold it! That's close enough. You got my payment?" He grunted, blocking her path.
"Do you have the X-mods?" Jane knew never to just hand over payment without seeing the goods. Jacks looked over his shoulder to a Turian male.
"Show her the merchandise." Jane studied the goods to be sure they were correct.
"Yeah, this looks right," she nodded.
"Damn straight it is, these mods are the best on the market, now hand over my credits," he was beginning to get impatient but it didn't waver Jane.
Here you go," Jane initiated the funds transfer on her omni-tool and after ensuring the credits had transferred, Jacks handed her the goods.
"Here you go, enjoy it." He turned back to the Turians again.
"Come on boys, we're done here," and with that they sauntered off. That was too easy, Jane thought to herself. Maybe if she'd have shot someone it would have been a little more exciting. She made her way back to the C-Sec Academy.
Jane found Chellick sitting at his desk, surrounded by the same datapads. He looked up when he heard her footsteps, allowing a small grin to touch his mandibles.
"Jane, I hear you have something for me." Jane presented the package and placed it on the desk.
Here's your shipment Chellick." He studied it for what felt like an eternity.
"Excellent, this is everything I need. Hm... maybe more than I need. Here, take this. I won't need it and you've earned some payment for your work. As for Jenna, I'll make sure we get her out of Chora's Den immediately. Now, I need to get these mods into evidence, thanks again Jane." She turned to take her leave, stopping when he spoke up behind her.
"Jane? Perhaps you'd consider working for me full-time now that Jenna's duties are more restricted? We make a good team you and I."
"I'd love to Detective," Jane replied, allowing a small smile to creep across her lips. He returned her smile.
"To you it's Decian."
Jane couldn't quite understand why it felt so good to have helped. Maybe it was because she finally felt like she'd achieved something, like her mother always wanted. The beginnings of a successful, professional relationship.