Liara didn’t remember much about the arrival of the rescue vessels, or their time in the pod, as Doctor Chakwas kept her under light sedation for the young Asari’s wellbeing.

The slowly drifting silver lifesaving capsules, their mass fields protecting the precious lives within, were still almost impossible to pick out amongst the debris field. But when the first rescue ship arrived on the scene the call and response of coded signals, activated automatically, allowed for rapid recovery.

The crew in the pods were alerted to their imminent rescue as their emergency beacons and comms systems came to life. Many faces gathered around port holes searching for their rescuers and conversations started about which ship it would likely be given they were in a far flung corner of the Terminus system and a long way from Citadel space.

To some surprise the vessel was not Alliance but Asari. The Normandy, after all, was both an Alliance and a Council ship. When Arcturus had received the distress call’s and the notification of the Gamma protocol all Alliance ships in the Terminus system, which included a small scout flotilla, were directed to the Normandy’s coordinates.

Admiral Hackett had taken the decision to kept notification outside the Alliance at an extremely high security level and contacted Councillor Tevos personally only because he knew an Asari science vessel was within ten hours of the Normandy’s location and the nearest Alliance vessel was twenty four hours away.

He wanted to know more about the ‘unknown’ attacker and ‘how the hell they even knew the Normandy was in that system let alone how they bypassed the ships full stealth mode’ and until his crew had been secured he was going to keep both the destruction of the Normandy and knowledge of survivor’s as highly classified and protected information.

Once safely aboard the Asari ship the surviving crew were able to reunite and begin to count the full cost of their loss. Doctor Chakwas spent a little time with the crew before disappearing to the Asari medical centre to oversee the care of her injured crew. Liara had also been taken directly to the med centre Garrus at her side steadfastly refusing to move further than a few feet away and never letting her out of his sight.

They had lost over half the fifty crew compliment. No emergency pods had even been launched from CIC and only one from the lowest level on the engineering/storage deck.

The first hit on the Normandy was targeted on engineering and it killed everyone on duty. It also ripped through the storage deck killing most of the marine and security team, injuring others, destroying both the Mako and Kodiak as it tore gaping holes in the hull of the ship.

The only survivors owed their lives to Wrex who managed to carry three injured marines into an emergency pod before another hit decimated what was left of the storage area, including one full emergency pod just before it managed to deploy. Only Wrex and the three marines got away and one had already died while they were waiting for rescue.

Kasumi and a good number of the science team made it out and those lucky enough to be on the mess deck which included Liara’s team. But they lost everyone from CIC incuding Ash and Pressley who were still at their posts.

When Garrus found out they had also lost Ash he was surprised he was able to actually feel more wretched than he already did. He was thankful that Wrex was ok and said so when the Krogan came to see him in the med centre.

“Yeah,” the big Krogan said sadness etched into his body language and easily heard in his voice, “glad to see you too,” and he gave Garrus a small pat on the shoulder. Then he turned to look at Liara who, despite the remains of the sedation, appeared to be restless and troubled in her shallow sleep.

“How did she take it?”

“Badly, she was

Chapter 19