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About Deviant DionneJinnFemale/Finland Group :icongarrusvakarian-fc: GarrusVakarian-FC
All the love for Garrus <3
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Chapter 63 – Resolution

“It sounds like he was doing this for you,” Shepard said gently after a moment, her arm still on Tali’s shoulders.

“I never wanted this, Shepard,” Tali shook her head and her voice was barely audible. “Keelah, I never wanted this. Everything here is his fault! I tried to pretend it didn’t point to him, but this… When this comes up in the trial, they’ll…”

Tali slipped away from Shepard, and walked a few steps.

“We can’t tell them, not the admirals, not anyone,” Tali said, her voice suddenly stern.

“Tali, without this evidence, you’re looking at exile!” Shepard was horrified.

“You think I don’t know that?” Tali snapped. “You think I want to live knowing that I can never see the Fleet again? But I can’t go back into that room and say that my father was the worst war criminal in our people’s history. I cannot.”

“Rael’Zorah doesn’t need you to worry about him anymore,” Garrus pointed out. “You heard him say he didn’t want you to be caught in the politics.”

“You don’t understand,” Tali shook her head. “They would strike his name from the manifest of every ship he ever served on. He would be worse than an exile. He’d be a traitor to our people, held up for children as a monster in a cautionary tale! I can’t let all the good he did be destroyed for this.”

“We’re not going to decide anything here,” Shepard said and gestured for the team to leave. “Let’s see what the admirals say once we get back.”

“You’re my captain in this hearing, Shepard,” Tali said. “But please. Don’t destroy what my father was. Come on. If we wait too long, they’ll decide we’re already dead, and none of this will matter.”

“We’re with you,” Shepard promised and the three of them made their way back through the ship and into their shuttle.

None of them spoke when they sat in the shuttle. Shepard sat next to Tali, her arm again around the girl’s shoulders while Garrus sat across from them. He knew he should have focused on the upcoming trial, thinking ways to help his friends through it, but all he could think of was that revelation he had had on board the Alarei.

When he looked back, it shouldn’t have surprised him. There had been signs—most remarkably the fits of jealousy—but he had knowingly refused to notice them. But others had read them, and had tried to tell him, but he had laughed them all away.

Not anymore.

Now he would...

Do what?” he asked from himself. “How could I ever tell her?

His musings were cut short when the shuttle docked with the Rayya. Firmly he put the thoughts to the back of his mind.

They hadn’t gotten far into the ship when they started to pick up raised voices.

“We need to face facts,” a hostile quarian voice spoke. “There has been no word. There is no reason to think Tali’Zorah survived.”

“We must trust Shepard’s offer of assistance!” Shala’Raan’s voice protested. “It has only been a few hours!”

“The quarian marines lasted less than five minutes, admiral,” another voice replies. “Call it.”

“A pity Shepard vas Normandy is a better speaker than a soldier,” the hostile voice said mockingly and Garrus clenched his fists angrily. “I recommend posthumously exiling Tali’Zorah.”

“What?” several voices shouted.

“Hell!” Shepard cursed and the whole group speeded up. “Double time it!”

“It was agreed that Tali’Zorah would not be convicted if she were killed in action!” Shala’Raan argued.

“It was suggested, admiral,” the hostile voice said. “I recall no agreement. To that end, I call for an immediate vote.”

When they reached the court room Garrus took the lead and started pushing watching quarians to the side to open a path to Shepard and Tali.

“Very well,” the defeated voice of Shala’Raan said. “Is the Admiralty Board prepared to render judgment?”

“Sorry we’re late!” Tali shouted when they finally broke though.

Everybody turned to face them and there was loud muttering going through the room.

“Tali’Zorah vas Normandy saved the Alarei,” Shepard announced before anybody could say anything. “I hope this proves her loyalty to the quarian people.”

“Her loyalty was never in doubt,” admiral Koris said. “Only her judgment.”

“Perhaps Tali’Zorah can offer something to encourage more trust in her judgment,” Shala’Raan suggested.

“Did you find anything on the Alarei that could clarify what happened there?” admiral Gerrel asked.

A silence followed, when everybody were holding their breaths. Every eye in the room was watching them, watching Shepard. Slowly she took a step forward.

“Shepard...” Tali whispered. “Please...”

“Does captain Shepard have any new evidence to submit to this hearing?” Shala’Raan urged.

“Tali helped me defeat Saren and the geth at the Citadel,” Shepard said loudly, making sure everyone could hear her. “That should be all the evidence you need.”

“I fail to see what relevance—“ admiral Koris tried to argue.

“You’re not really interested in Tali, are you?” Shepard cut him short. “This trial isn’t about her at all. It’s about the geth.”

“This hearing has nothing to do with the geth!” Koris tried again.

“You want people to sympathize with them!” Shepard shouted. “Han’Gerrel wants to go to war! None of you care about Tali! She knows more about the geth than any other quarian alive. You should be listening to her, not putting her on trial! Tali’Zorah saved the Citadel! She was in the heart of it with me! She saved the Alarei! She showed the galaxy the value of the quarian people. I can’t think of stronger evidence than that. You have admitted it yourself! You do not doubt her loyalty to the Fleet. So how then you can charge her with treason?”

A longer silence followed that speech, when all the people present thought about what Shepard had said. Slowly whispering started among the crowds.

“Are the admirals prepared to render judgment?” Shala’Raan asked when the whispers had continued for few minutes.

Slowly each of the three admirals turned on their omni-tools and tapped something on them. Shala’Raan studied the readings they transmitted on her display.

“Tali’Zorah, in light of your history of service, we do not find sufficient evidence to convict,” she announced. “You are cleared of all charges.”

The crowd started cheering, when Tali hugged first Shepard then Garrus. But it was not all over yet.

“Commander Shepard,” Shala’Raan continued. “Please accept these gifts in appreciation for you taking the time to represent one of our people.”

“If you appreciate me, then listen,” Shepard said, standing proud in front of the quarians. “The Reapers are coming. I’m going to need your help to stop them. Please don’t throw away yours lives against the geth.”

“Thank you, commander Shepard,” admiral Koris said—Garrus could hear from his voice that Shepard had been talking to a wall. “I hope this board carefully considers your advice.”

Angrily Shepard brought her fist down on the table, and Garrus placed his hand on her shoulder to calm her down.

“This hearing is concluded,” Shala’Raan announced. “Go in peace, Tali’Zorah vas Normandy. Keelah se’lai.”

Again the entire crowd repeated the last words, but Garrus could see Shepard was still fuming with anger.

“I can’t believe you pulled that off,” Tali said silently. “What you said... I’ve never had anyone speak like that on my behalf. Thank you for being there for my father and me, even when... Thank you.”

“You don’t really sound that happy, Tali,” Garrus pointed out, having noticed the odd tone of her voice.

“No, but I’m fine with things like this,” the girl shrugged. “It’s fun watching Shepard shout.”

“Tali, about what your father said, what he did...” Shepard hesitated. “You deserved better.”

“I got better, Shepard,” Tali said. “I got you. And Garrus. And the Normandy. And...”

Garrus turned to look where Tali was looking and picked up Kal’Reegar. Apparently Shepard had noticed too.

“Anyone you want to say goodbye before we head back to the ship?” Shepard asked meaningfully.

“Nice talking, Shepard,” Kal’Reegar complimented when they approached him. “Funny how it takes a commander to remind the admirals about military honour.” Only then the quarian man turned to Tali. “Glad they’re off your back, ma’am. And that you didn’t have to give them that evidence you found on the Alarei.”

“No one said anything about finding evidence, Kal,” Tali pointed out with worried voice.

“I noticed that, ma’am,” Kal’Reegar nodded, but he clearly knew more than he said.

“Stay safe out there, Reegar,” Shepard wished and nodded to Garrus that they should give Tali a private moment with the marine.

“You too, Shepard,” the quarian replied before turning to Tali. “Ma’am.”

“Kal, just call me Tali,” the girl asked with strained voice.

“I’ll work on that,” Reegar promised. “Ma’am. Be safe and good luck with your mission.”

The three of them headed back toward Normandy, but Shala’Raan blocked their way.

“Congratulations, Tali,” the woman said, but Tali ignored her. “Your father would be proud.”

Tali’s old captain, admiral Gerrel, hurried after them when they were about to leave.

“You called us on the carpet out there, Shepard,” the man said. “And you were right. Thank you. Tali shouldn’t have been involved in that argument. Tell me, though, honestly. What did you find over there? You spoke well, but I know a feint when I see it.”

Shepard exchanged a glance with Tali, who nodded.

“Off the record?” Shepard said. “Rael’Zorah was bringing the geth online and networking them for weapons tests.”

“Keelah,” the admiral sighed, clearly shocked.

“You can never tell anyone, Han,” Tali pleaded.

“You have my word,” the man promised. “Thanks for keeping quiet. That would have hurt what your father wanted for the Fleet. I’m just glad you didn’t have to pay for his mistakes. Be well, Tali. Fly safe.”

After leaving admiral Gerrel the group happened across Koris, who had appeared most hostile to them across the entire trial. From the way Shepard squared her shoulders Garrus knew she was expecting another argument, but—

“Very impressive, Shepard,” the quarian complimented, and there was no hostility or mockery in his voice. “Thank you for your help on the Alarei. And thank you for helping Rael’Zorah’s daughter. You stood for her when we failed. We were wrong to let our own concerns about the war overshadow Tali’s trial.”

“The galaxy needs more people saying what you’re saying, admiral,” Shepard replied, and Garrus could tell she really meant it. “Good luck.”

“Thank you, commander,” the quarian nodded before walking away.

“Are you ready to go?” Shepard asked Tali.

“Yeah,” Tali nodded. “Now I know that if I come back from this mission, I have something to come back to.”

“Maybe someone as well,” Garrus couldn’t resist saying, thinking of Kal’Reegar.

“Maybe,” Tali admitted. “If he just quitted treating me as his superior. I’m not some high-and-mighty, I’m just... me.”

Without further ado the three of them went back on the Normandy.

Chapter 62 – Alarei

Few minutes later the three of them were sitting in a small shuttle, much like the Kodiak of the Normandy, but shabbier. Garrus and Shepard were sitting on both sides of Tali, but none of them spoke. When the shuttle slowed down for docking they prepared their weapons in silence.

The shuttle bay, where they entered the ship, was silent, but when they passed though the first set of doors they immediately ran into trouble: there were no less than six geth and more kept pouring into the room from the other side.

Damn,” Garrus thought, taking cover behind a table and opening up with his rifle. “This is bad, far worse than I thought, and I’m used to expecting the worst.

After the first shock of running into so many enemies Tali had quickly hacked one of the geth, gaining a temporary ally among their opponents and Shepard kept firing her biotic shockwave around the place, keeping their enemies off balance. All Garrus needed to do was to aim at the prone enemies and drop them for good.

Suddenly one of his shots was blocked by an invisible object. The air around the impact seemed to become solid and suddenly an unusually large geth was standing right in front of him. When the tech-cloak that had hidden it from view fell away, Garrus noticed a hazy shimmer of blue around the geth, which told him it had shields up. In such close range Garrus knew his rifle wasn’t much help and he was as good as dead if he didn’t think of something, fast.

All of a sudden Shepard slammed into the large geth, knocking it back.

“Move!” the woman shouted and Garrus wasn’t about to argue.

He rolled further away, sending an overload surge to the geth to fry out its shields while he went and Tali’s combat drone did the rest. With the larger geth in pieces the rest of the geth went down without much trouble.

“There’s a log here,” Shepard said, when they studied the room.

“Something’s slowing down the systems,” the voice from the log said when Shepard played it. “We’re taking down the firewalls to rebalance load distribution. Rael’Zorah ordered us to bypass the standard safeties. Following security protocols will take too long.”

“Does this mean anything to you?” Shepard asked Tali.

“I don’t know,” the young quarian shook her head. “How my father could... The security protocols are there for a reason.”

“Let’s keep going,” Shepard suggested, gesturing to the door on the other side of the room.

Moving more carefully now the group made its way through rooms and passages, on occasion coming across small groups of geth and taking them out.

“Wait,” Tali said when they were checking one room that appeared to be a storage area. “This is one of the storage units I sent to father.”

She opened the container and studied the items inside.

“Looks like parts from a disabled repair drone,” she said. “Plus a reflex algorithm that I didn’t recognize. I got this on Haestrom.”

“What made a part worth sending back to your father?” Shepard asked, studying it in turn.

“It had to be in working order,” Tali explained. “Something that could be analysed and integrated into other technology. Anything new had priority. Technology the geth had developed themselves. Signs of modification, clues to their thinking.”

“Haestrom was a war zone,” Garrus pointed out. “How did you salvage gear in the middle of all that?”

“These suits have more pockets than you’d think,” Tali replied, and Garrus was sure she was smiling for the first time since she had been called home. “Quarians have learned how to salvage whatever we can whenever we can. Within reason. We’re not vorcha. But we repair what most people would throw away. Hundreds of the ships in our fleet were salvaged wrecks, either found dead in space or purchased for next to nothing.”

“Does that salvaged gear give you a clue as to what happened here?” Shepard asked when they prepared to move on again.

“No,” Tali shook her head. “I don’t know. Shepard, I checked everything I sent here. I passed up great finds because they might be too dangerous, prone to uncontrolled reactivation or self-repair. I don’t know which possibility is worse: that I got sloppy and sent something dangerous, or that father actually did all this.”

Few passages later they came across another security log, which Shepard played.

“Who’s running this system diagnostic?” one of the quarians on the screen asked. “I didn’t authorize... oh, Keelah. How many geth are networked?”

“All of them,” the other replied, and there was fear in his voice. “Rael’Zorah—“

“Shut it down!” the first speaker ordered. “Shut everything down! They’re in the system!”

When the recording ended none of them spoke, but they went further into the lab ship, finding more geth along the way. They also came across quarian bodies, clearly cut down by geth weaponry. In a room with a seriously damaged door, they found another recording.

“We locked down navigation,” the female quarian said. “Weapons are offline. Our mistake won’t endanger the Fleet. They’re burning through the door. I don’t have much time. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Jona, if you get this, be strong for daddy. Mommy loves you very much!”

“Take a copy of that,” Garrus suggested. “Maybe we can find the one it was meant to.”

Shepard played the recording again, copying it to her omni-too. In the next room they found a research console and Tali approached it tentatively.

“This console might have something,” she said, turning it on. “Most of the data is corrupted, but a few bits are left.”

For few minutes Tali tapped on her omni-tool in silence and the screen flashed.

“They were performing experiments on geth systems,” Tali said finally. “Looking for new ways to overcome geth resistance to reprogramming.”

“Did you know what kind of tests your father was running?” Shepard asked.

“No,” Tali confessed. “Father just told me to send back any geth technology I could find that wasn’t a direct danger to the Fleet. I suspected he might be testing weapons, but I thought he was just working on new ways to bypass shields or armour.”

“Could any of that data clear your name?” Shepard wanted to know.

“Doubtful,” Tali shook her head. “This is mostly results data. Effects of different disruptive hacking techniques. I don’t understand all of it. But… they may have been activating the geth deliberately. I don’t know. Nothing here says specifically. But if they were… then father was doing something terrible. What was all this, father? You promised you’d build me a house on the homeworld. Was this going to bring us back home?”

“Maybe it’s time for your people to let go of reclaiming your world from the geth,” Garrus suggested.

“You have no idea what it’s like!” Tali shouted, suddenly angry—she had never spoken that way before to him or Shepard. “You both have a planet to go back to! My home is one hull breach away from extinction!”

“You’ve got a place here, Tali,” Shepard said gently. “Don’t throw it away in a war you don’t need.”

“Don’t need?” Tali was still furious. “Shepard, if I don’t wear a helmet in my own home, I die! Neither of you understands! A single kiss could put me in the hospital! Every time you touch a flower with bare fingers, inhale its fragrance without air filters, you’re doing something I can’t! Damn the Pilgrimage. Without it, I might never have known what I was missing. What we had lost when we lost our homeworld.”

“I’m sorry, Tali,” Shepard sighed.

“Come on,” Tali said bluntly and they headed on. “We still have a ship to take back.”

The young quarian soon got other targets to her anger instead of Shepard and Garrus, as they came across more geth in the passages. In a corner Shepard saw yet another log.

“First entry,” the recording said. “Our hacking attempts failed. The geth have an adaptive consciousness. Hack one process, and the others auto-correct. Still, we’re making progress. Rael’Zorah is convinced we’ll have a viable system in less than a year. This weapon will put our people back on the homeworld. And it’s all because of Rael’Zorah.”

Garrus noticed that every time her father’s name was mentioned, Tali twitched as if stung.

“We should be near the bridge,” Tali said, her voice now subdued. “Let’s keep going.”

They opened a door and entered a passage. A set of stairs was leading up from the other end, and at the foot of the stairs a quarian body was lying crumbled on the floor.

“No!” Tali shouted hurrying her steps with the others following close behind. “Father!”

She fell on her knees next to the body, while Garrus hurried past them to check the stairs, but finding nothing threatening came back down.

“No, no, no!” Tali was moaning. “You always had a plan. Masked life signs, or, or an onboard medical stasis program, maybe. You! You wouldn’t… They’re wrong! You wouldn’t just die like this! You wouldn’t leave me to clean up your mess...”

“Hey, hey, hey, come here,” Shepard said, pulling Tali up and into a tight hug.

Forgetting the geth and other potential threats for a moment Garrus joined the group, placing his hand comfortingly on Tali’s shoulder. Shepard’s eyes were full of tears when she looked up to him over Tali's shoulder and at that moment it hit him: he was in love with her.

His sister had been right, Jack had been right. They all had been right! He felt more for Shepard than a gunnery officer should for his ship’s commander. He couldn’t speak, not now, not here...

“Damn it!” Tali cursed, jarring Garrus back into reality. “Damn it. I’m sorry.”

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry about,” Shepard assured her.

“Maybe...” Tali said uncertainly. “He would have known I’d come. Maybe he left a message.”

She turned back to her father's body, knelt and activated the dead quarian’s omni-tool. A green hologram of Rael'Zorah appeared.

“Tali,” the recording began. “If you are listening, then I am dead. The geth have gone active. I don’t have much time. Their main hub will be on the bridge. You’ll need to destroy it to stop their VI processes from forming new neural links. Make sure Han’Gerrel and Daro’Xen see the data. They must—“

“Thanks, dad,” Tali whispered when the recording broke into static.

“He knew you’d come for him,” Shepard told Tali. “He was trying to help you. It’s not perfect. It’s not what you wanted. But it’s the best he could do.”

“I don’t know what’s worse,” Tali said sadly. “Thinking he never really cared, or thinking that he did, and that this was the only way he could show it. It doesn’t matter. One way or the other, I cared. And I’m here. And we’re ending this.”

All three of them joined their hands as if forming some kind of a pact. They headed up the stairs and onto the bridge, where a group of geth waited for them.

“Prime!” Shepard warned. “Get it’s shields, Garrus. Tali, combat drone!”

“Ah!” the young quarian shouted and dived for cover. When she next moved Garrus saw that she was limping, but with the prime on them he had no time to check on the girl.

When the enemies fell, Tali already walked almost normally, when they approached the main control console the geth had been protecting. The quarian studied it for a few moments.

“This console is linked to the main hub father mentioned,” Tali explained slowly. “Disabling it shuts down any geth we missed. It looks like some of the recordings remained intact. They’ll tell us how this happened, what father did.”

“You sound like you don’t really want to hear it,” Shepard pointed out.

“No, but I know we have to,” Tali replied. “I just… this is terrible, Shepard. I don’t want to know that he was part of this.”

With trembling fingers Tali activated the console.

“Do we have enough parts to bring more online?” a male quarian Garrus thought was Tali’s father said.

“Yes,” one of the others in the image replied. “The new shipment from your daughter will let us add two more geth to the network.”

“We’re nearing a breakthrough on systemic viral attacks,” the third quarian said, and Garrus though speaker had recorded some of the logs too, but he wasn’t sure. “Perhaps we should inform the Admiralty Board, just to be safe.”

“No,” Rael’Zorah denied. “We’re too close. I promised to build my daughter a house on the homeworld. I’m not going to sit and wait while the politicians argue.”

Shepard placed her arm around Tali’s shoulders, because the girl was swaying again.

“We’d have an easier time of it if Tali’Zorah could send back more working material,” one of the others said.

“Absolutely not,” Tali’s father denied sharply. “I don’t want Tali exposed to any political blowback. Leave Tali out of this. Assemble new geth with what we have. Bypass security protocols if need be.”

There was a silence when the recording ended.
Mass Effect fanfiction: Lonely Heart - Chapter 62
Chapter 62 of my Mass Effect fanfic. And Garrus finally has a big revelation we all knew was coming...

All characters belong to BioWare.

First chapter: Mass Effect fanfiction: Lonely Heart - Chapter 1
Next chapter:…
Cover art: Lonely Heart cover
Full cover: Lonely Heart full cover
Tiger Hunt by DionneJinn
Tiger Hunt
Sandokan facing a tiger. This is also a reworked version of a previous image. (And for the record: I love the new background items that have been added to HM...)

My HeroMachine interpretation of a tiger hunt scene in Emilio Salgari's Sandokan - Tigers of Mompracem -novel.

(The old version can be seen here:…)
Marianna Riding by DionneJinn
Marianna Riding
Marianna Guillonk on horseback during the tiger hunt. This is the one picture from The Tigers of Mompracem set that has so far gone through largest number of revisions. Maybe I'm finally mostly happy with it...

My HeroMachine interpretation of the main female character in Emilio Salgari's Sandokan - The Tigers of Mompracem -novel.

(Previous version can be seen here:…)


DionneJinn's Profile Picture
1. For each of the first ten people to comment on this journal, I will put their avatar and the three deviations I like most from their gallery on the list! If you would like to suggest your own deviations, feel free to do so.

2. If you answer, you have to do the same in your journal, putting the tagger on the first place. The idea of this is not simply getting a free feature, but spreading art around for everyone!

Tagger: :iconbelanna42: Shepard ID: Valerie by Belanna42 Janeway: Goddess of the Stars by Belanna42 Cody: ST. Patricks Day 2013 by Belanna42

01. :iconsoturoayami: Pretty fire by SoturoAyami D. Strata by SoturoAyami Shaza Tu -hunting garb- by SoturoAyami

02. :iconunacceptablee: Garrus Vakarian - Markers by unacceptablee Christmas!!! by unacceptablee Shaya - Assassin by unacceptablee








  • Mood: Joy
  • Listening to: Hobbit soundtrack
  • Watching: Cold Case
  • Eating: Boiled eggs
  • Drinking: Hot chocolate

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Add a Comment:
OicheChiun Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015
Thanks for the +fav :) (Smile) 
Kivutar Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the fave. c:
DionneJinn Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2015
No problem.
TuliusHostilius Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015  Hobbyist Artist

Just saw some of your draws about Sandokan. I really liked them! Hope to see more!

DionneJinn Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2015
Thanks. And thanks for all the faves as well. I'm sure to draw more when I get the time. I'm a huge fan of Salgari's stories.
TuliusHostilius Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
I am also a fan of Salgari's. I draw paper soldiers for print and cut, 1/72, for Wargames and RPGs, but sometimes I take a chance in some fictional characters. Some time ago I tried Sandokan:…

Probably some day I will try the Portuguese "Eanes", The Black Corsair or even Marianne.
DionneJinn Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2015
Aww! He is so sweet! (If one can say that about the fierce Tiger of Malaysia.) I have to print him out and cut him, just for the fun of it. If you decide to do more Salgari's characters, do let me know. I would love to see them.

You don't have any sailing ships, do you? I haven't had time to search through your gallery yet.
(2 Replies)
Jash0162 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015
happy birthday, hope your new year is brought by joy all year long and the bad (whatever it might be) dose not stay for long 
DionneJinn Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2015
Thank you.
garrus368 Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2015
Happy Birthday :)
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