MASS EFFECT DESCENCION
Hatre, Camala, 2165…
It was in the late hours on Camala, but that meant nothing to the busy spaceport known as Hatre. It was five hundred kilometers outside the capital of Ujon and just like its sister city, it never slept. Merchant vessels constantly made their rounds to deliver or acquire goods before setting off at their next destination. In the vast desert that separated the two cities, mines and refineries bustled as their workers sought after the planet’s key resource: Element Zero.
Sh’sk found himself sitting at a bar inside the spaceport’s most desirable pleasure house: Sanctuary. He met up with Anto after their latest run and found a good way to spend some of their creds: alcohol and sex. The odd thing was that the women cost a lot more than the liquor so Sh’sk often found himself drinking there and taking in the atmosphere. It would cost him a few good runs tops before he had enough creds to buy any of the females there. Instead, he would stagger down the busy streets to a lesser known house once he consumed enough booze to take his boredom away. The section of the building that had all the rooms was separated by a door and a very large Krogan bouncer. The reptilian thick soft yellow skinned creature would eye Sh’sk and his brother whenever one of the girls walked by to make sure they wouldn’t cause any trouble. Once satisfied, the burly Krogan would give out a grunt before greeting any paying customers.
Swirling the dark liquor in his glass, Sh’sk eyed the already empty three glasses in front of him. So far he was up to his regular limit and he could feel his head starting to spin. Anto, on the other hand, was only topping off his second, but he was too busy eyeing the women that walked by. “Forget it,” Sh’sk reminded him.
Anto blinked all four of his eyes then whirled back around in his chair to put his back towards the door once more. “I’m tired of fuckin’ the ones down the street. How are these girls any different?”
“Well…look what the varren dragged in,” A voice called out to the duo from behind. Sh’sk turned his head back to see a red toned Batarian approaching him. “I finally get back to port and I have to run into your ugly faces.”
Sh’sk chuckled at the newcomer. “Charn, what are you doing here?”
“Tired of seeing those humans?” Anto grinned as he made his way over their friend to sit in between them.
“Those humans give me good creds.” Charn held out his cred chit to allow the bartender to swipe it for his tab. Sh’sk grunted in approval as he swallowed the rest of his drink. “I’m heading out in a few days for a new run, why don’t you both come with me? I need some new hands. “
“I am hoping to find a job to where I can stay grounded longer,” Sh’sk replied as he cupped the empty glass with his hands.
“You want to stay in this piss hole?” Charn glanced around their surroundings. “If you get into the slave trade, at least you will get more creds than being a courier.”
“Fuckin’ caste system,” Sh’sk huffed between his teeth.
“I’m not. I’m finding a transport to Omega. There should be one going out later this week,” Anto chimed in after finishing his drink.
“Talk about a pisshole. Though I heard the Pirate Queen is a looker.” Charn smiled slyly.
“I’m going talk to the boss tomorrow,” Sh’sk went on. “Rumor is there’s a big project going on. Hush hush. Maybe I can get into that action.” And he was right, rumors were bustling around the Dah’ Tan manufacturing plant.
Anto eyed a female of his species picking up empty glasses from a table across the room. “Speaking of action.” He excused himself from the bar and walked over to greet the woman.
Sh’sk shook his head with a laugh as he looked on. “Maybe he will get one better than me tonight. I’m just not feeling it.” He mused with his own thoughts. “I need something different, Charn.”
“Well, since you won’t join me…I may have another avenue for you to try…” His friend motioned towards the bar’s entrance with his head. “Passed a recruiter a few blocks away from here for the Suns. Supposedly to be under Edan Had’dah.”
“That prick?” Sh’sk scoffed. Edan Had’dah was one of the top wealthy Batarians on Camala and in a totally different caste. He invested his funds in archeological sites and research facilities.
“Hey, well I’m only tellin you what’s out here…unless you want to join up with me for a slave grab.” Charn stood up from his seat and slid his cred chit against the console to pay up. “If you don’t want the Suns, find me tomorrow.”
After another hour went by, Sh’sk found himself staggering for steps as he made his way back to his apartment. Ironically, he noticed that his common pleasure house was just a block outside from the Suns recruitment makeshift building. Two Batarians were outside the building’s door that was painted with their insignia. Their common blue and white uniforms stood out in the darkness. Giggles could be heard just inside the pleasure house’s door and a female Batarian wearing a provocative silk outfit manned the door to greet any potential customers. Her perfume could be smelled feet away from where she stood. Sh’sk recognized her from his previous visits. When she saw him, her face lit up in the usual charming fashion. “Round tonight?”
This time, Sh’sk found it hard to speak or even walk towards the building. Something was holding him back as if it was stopping him living the same life he always did. His black four eyes flashed up ahead to the two mercs. “Not tonight,” Sh’sk grunted as he quickened his pace, hearing a slight sound of disappointment from the female.
As he approached, the two mercs noticed him and tensed up. Their hands threateningly on their weapons. It wasn’t uncommon for gunfire to break out in the streets in the spaceport. “You here for the job?” One of them barked out.
“Yeah, what does it pay?” Sh’sk inquired.
“Well enough. Go inside if you are interested.” The other motioned his weapon to the door as they stepped inside. “We only want the best.”
Giving the pair another look, Sh’sk walked past and stepped inside the facility. It was an old warehouse that was deserted. A few tables were in place for datapads while the room was mixed with Suns and common dressed Batarians. Several groups were broken out in different areas: One for uniforms, and one for signing up. Sh’sk was quickly moved through both. “Come back tomorrow for your orders. We have a job already.” An older Batarian in uniform barked in front of everyone. Judging by his commanding quality, Sh’sk assumed he was the one in charge. Pouring out with the others, he made his way back to his apartment to only find his younger brother in bed with a female. Both naked and asleep. Shaking his head, Sh’sk stripped out of his clothes to his undergarments and sprawled out on the couch.
The next morning when Sh’sk came to, Anto and the female were gone. He figured she went back to work and his brother was back down at the docks to see if any new comers were in from Omega. He made a mental note that after the Suns briefing, he would meet up with his brother just in case he was able to book passage.
Fitting his uniform on, Sh’sk paused at the main room’s holo mirror. Nodding his head in approval, he made his back to the facility.
This time the facility was only open to Suns mercs and anybody not part of the gang were dismissed. Everyone was huddled over a holo screen that displayed some kind of schematics to a building. The commanding Batarian was in front again as he examined the display. “Listen up,” He turned back around to address the group. “We have a contract from one of our top clients and we have to do this right so no fucking screw ups. You hear me?” He pointed towards the building with his finger. “We have an insider planted who will undo the security for a brief window. This will be timed and precise so when we tell you to move, you move.”
Sh’sk looked at the building and then to the holo screen next to it that revealed a planet shape and statistics next to it. In a repeated pattern, a coordinate would flash on the planet and then zoom in revealing a particular spot before expanding out to planetary view once more. Watching, Sh’sk made out the name of the planet to be “Sidon.”