Goddess of War

5 – Change

Athena held her angular, custom built, black and silver rife steady as she tracked her target. Her lensed eye held to the scope. It had been a year since she had woken up. One year of abandoning her morals, conscious, and pride in order to survive in this harsh and unforgiving universe. Whoever had thought this would be a fun idea had no idea what it was like to live in this place. She was now working as Aria’s all-purpose errand girl.

She killed, stole, tortured, lied and hacked in the name of her employer. It had been a brutal learning curve. She had spent many nights performing first aid on herself or in one of the clinics Aria owned, fixing up the results of her failures. Needless to say, she tended not to make the same mistake twice. Not when she had perfect recall of everything she had done and could flag exactly when the mission went to hell in a handbasket. The joys of an artificially eidetic memory.

She had spent hours practicing her martial skills, trying to make her movements smooth and as near to instinctive as it was possible for her to become. Her bruises, abrasions, aching muscles were a testament to the long hours of exercise and training she subjected herself to in the name of excellence. This, combined with her digital prowess, made her a useful tool and a dangerous one.

The truth of the matter was that Aria was not a bad employer, just a hard one. To the Asari’s credit though, she did take care of her minions. The paychecks were sent out punctually and in full if the job was done well. Screw ups were informed of their failures and the resulting payment for damages docked as incentive to not screw up. Her apartment was paid for. Her basic needs were looked after in the form of a monthly stipend for food and clothes. Not to mention the full use of Aria’s personal clinic that she maintained for her employees. Athena could admire the woman’s steel resolve and the control she had over her empire but this admiration was tempered by her resentment at her current predicament.

On a brighter note, her gear wish list was going quite well. The glowing blue lenses of her ghost visor stared out from beneath her slate grey hood. It had evolved into a cape that wrapped around her shoulders and diagonal hem with the longest portion hanging to just below her knees. Her casual jacket, pants and boots had all seen upgrades too. She had custom ordered/ built a set of stealth that was as close to skin tight as it was possible to get.

The pieces were all made of a lightweight ceramic compound that covered her chest, throat, knees, calves, forearms and shoulders. Small interlocking plates protected her spine and lower back while the rest of her was sheathed in a suit she had ‘redirected’ from a Cerberus facility. It was a standard body suit with a layer of bullet proof materiel. It was the newest in protective fibers and was the current new favorite toy of several armor manufacturing companies.

It was also ridiculously expensive so she had taken great joy in its rescue from the filthy paws of Cerberus. True to her new MO, she had made her armor flexible and tough. It went well with her highly active, blindingly fast acrobatic fighting style and her tendency to slip into shadows. She had even trained herself to shoot mid flip, hanging upside-down and a whole host of other impossible feats.

Of the entire suit, it was her shields she was proudest of. They were scavenged from a Krogan battle master she had found after Aria was finished with him. She had spent hours fine tuning and experimenting with them to create a way to compensate for her minimalist armor. The entire ensemble was a in varying shades of grey, the armor plates being dull slate while the suit was a lighter silver with some faint blue running lights that came with the suit. Her grey cape, veil and visor completed the monochrome uniform. As with her previous outfit, it was designed to blend with the shadows and hide the running lights.

The hood and cape covered a good portion of her armored shoulders and back, breaking up her shape from an armored individual into a more harmless cloth wrapped non-combatant. It also prevented her armor from scraping when she took to the vents and ducts. Her veil and hunter knives were the only things that translated over from her original outfit. She intended to upgrade her armor as fast as the technology came out.

The knives were set in a pair of sheaths on each leg under the holster for a set of revolver styled pistols she had ‘liberated’ from a gang leader. The end of her long veil was tucked under the wrapped front of her cape, meaning she could hang upside-down and still have it in place. With her taps into the various black op groups belonging to the various species across the galaxy, she had a front row seat for the various pieces of bleeding edge technology as it was developed. Truthfully, life was not too terrible.

Her rifle gave a loud coughing sound and her target dropped dead. Before the body even hit the ground, she was in his omni-tool, draining his accounts. No sense in letting the money go to waste. He wouldn’t need it and she was in need of the cash so she could either buy herself from Aria or afford her next tech wish. The chances were looking better for the latter. A new cloaking technology had come out that she had her eyes on.

As people began to gather around the body, she retracted the long barrel, turning it back into a scout rifle and slung her rifle over her shoulder, attaching the sleek hybrid to the trio of magnetic clamps that gripped through the cloak. She would have preferred a strap but it tended to bounce and slid to much when she had tried that. She strode through the corridors towards afterlife with calm and even strides.

She had refused to allow herself to appear anything other than calm and collected after her breakdown during her first months. Her tendency to speak in a calm monotone seemed to unnerve those she worked with and she needed all the help she could get. Also, any sign of weakness was immediately seized and exploited in this hell hole. She sidestepped a puddle of something in the dark, red lit passages that were now her home and frowned beneath her veil. Why Aria wanted a personal confirmation on the kill this time was concerning.

A flicker of movement caught her eye and the pale blue outline of a Vorcha scuttling away revealed itself in the blue tint of her visor. She lived in various shades of blue now. The visor barely ever came off and the cool blue light it cast over the world was soothing compared to the dim to non-existent red light that suffused the shadows.

She turned left into a small service hall and began to scale one of the many ladders that existed between floors. She avoided the elevators when possible, too many people and far too easy to corner someone in such a confined space. She would know. She had caught several of her targets in lifts. The bass of Afterlife could be heard before long the club came into view and the pulsating Neon was as epilepsy inducing as ever.

The bouncer glanced up at her and simply nodded, shuffling over a little to let her in. The ear protectors on her visor immediately went to work, filtering out the painfully loud music that shook her ribcage with its power. She paused in front of the guards but they simply waved her up. This caused her frown to deepen. Usually she was forced to surrender the myriad of weapons she was now packing whenever she went to see the Queen.

The fact that she was being permitted up in full kit was… concerning. She moved cautiously up, her fingers brushing her twin pistols in preparation to draw. When she climbed the last few steps, she was met with the sight of Aria and a guest. The new comer was an Asari. The blue tinting of Athena’s visor made the Asari’s skin even bluer while the facial markings faded to a deep purple. By this time, Athena was on high alert. She had already identified the Asari as specter Tela Vasir and this worried her.

Why would a specter have anything to do with her? “Neith, so glad you could join us. I assume from your arrival that your target is dead?” Aria asked her in her usual no nonsense manner. Athena nodded. She usually didn’t speak to strangers face to face. It added to her air of mystery. Something she had spent a year cultivating.

“I’m sure you are aware by now that your target was not simply another person who pissed me off but has something to do with our guest. Tell me, can you give me any information about her?” Aria challenged and Vasir sat back, watching with sharp eyes.

Athena turned to look at the specter and activated her vocal distorter. “Name: Tela Vasir, Species: Asari. Age: Five hundred and thirty two. Trained as Asari commando, received decorations for several high class missions, subsequently inducted into the citadel specters twenty years ago. Specter Vasir is a high powered Biotic, specializing in the vanguard class. Favors Scimitar line shotguns but is also proficient with hand guns and rifles. Specter Vasir is often assigned infiltration missions and is known for her deep hatred of slavers.” She dutifully answered, knowing that if she gave anything less, then Aria would know.

“Impressive,” Vasir remarked before standing and drawing closer, trying to elicit a response from Athena as she pushed into her personal space. Athena didn’t move. She knew that the specter was testing her. In the blink of an eye, Vasir had a pistol to her head. Unfortunately for Vasir, an eye blink was intolerably slow for Athena. Even as the specters muscles bunched in an action that would lead to her drawing her gun, Athena acted.

Now here they both stood. Vasir with a gun held to her forehead and Vasir blinking in shock at the muzzle of Athena’s long barreled pistol jammed into the bottom of her jaw. Athena stared into the Asari’s eyes, knowing that the expressionless lenses of her visor had a tendency to unnerve her opponents.

“You’re fast,” Vasir praised, a sardonic smirk pulling at her mouth.

“Thank you,” Athena replied in her monotone voice. With a click, the safety was activated on Vasir’s weapon and she withdrew. Athena followed a fraction of a second later, fipping the pistol expertly and returning it to its holster.

“She’s as fast as you said Aria,” The specter told her hostess as she sat down again. Athena smoothly holstered her pistol and returned her attention to the pair on the couch.

“I don’t lie about things like that Tela.” Aria sniffed before sipping from a small tumbler of alcohol. Athena frowned behind her veil and waited as the two Asari bantered. Her silent presence eventually regained the pairs attention.

“Do you have any idea as to why you are here Neith?” Aria asked and Athena shook her head.

“I make it a point to avoid your mail. A professional courtesy and to avoid the porn you’ve started filling it with. There are somethings no mortal eye should ever see,” She replied stoically under the Asari’s canny look.

“Well, apparently, Tela here is in need of a hacker and she called in a favor. As of this moment, you report to her. After your mission is done she can decide if she will return you to me or if she wants to keep you on as a specialist,” Aria informed her.

Athena cocked her head and looked between the two. “Must be some favor,” She remarked and Aria snorted. “Don’t get cheeky Neith. It’s a life debt. The fact that she’s using it to simply take one of my employees is something I will be thankful for,” She informed Athena smartly.

Vasir looked between them with an amused expression. “I believe that Neith is the reason you have seen a sixty-eight percent raise in profits this past year. From what I’ve found and what you’ve told me, she is perhaps one of the best computer specialists in the Terminus Systems,” She told them and Athena suppressed the urge to sigh. She was forced to leave a trail as Neith in order to make her cover believable and to promote herself.

People looking for hackers wanted hackers they could find. A twisted form of logic but it was how the game was played. Unfortunately it also ment that the Shadow Broker was after any information he could get on her. “Do I get any say at the end of my loan?” She asked resignedly and Aria smirked again. “What do you think?” Was the sarcastic answer.

Athena bowed her head in agreement. “Then I will gather my things,” She told them before turning to leave.

“Are you just going to let her get away with that kind of disrespect?” Tela asked incredulously as she walked away. “That’s just Neith’s personal form of rebellion. She knows who’s in charge and she’ll do her job but she has an independent streak that she occasionally indulges,” Aria answered blithely before Athena withdrew from earshot.

She passed a merchant stall and purchased a worn but still serviceable duffle bag to hold her gear. She set up a call to Desta. The mercenary answered on the third ring. “Athena, hey!” She greeted. “Hey Desta. How’s life in your corner of Omega?” She asked and could almost hear the shrug.

“Same old, same old. Shoot some people, intimidate others. Collect the money. You?” She answered ad Athena sighed over the line. “Aria sold me off to a Specter. It looks like I may be leaving this hell hole behind, if at least temporarily.” Desta made a pleased sound. “That’s good. It gets you away from her and means that there is a chance of you getting your freedom and out into the wider galaxy. You have big plans, I know it. You will do fine out there. Just remember what I taught you,” She reassured and Athena smiled.

“To drink often and get into bar fights frequently?” She joked. “That happened one time!” Desta protested and Athena laughed, something she only seemed to do when talking to her friend. “I know but you know that the extranet is forever,” She threw back before her voice became somber. “I just wanted to say goodbye Desta, in case something happens to me, or I actually do get off this rock permanently.”

“I know Athena and I hope you do get away. In fact, if I see you again on Omega I will kick your ass,” Desta told her firmly. Athena smiled a little and hung up before she checked her friend’s location on the station. Desta was actually pretty close to where Vasir’s ship waited. She hurried to her nook. She collected up all of her electronics, knick-knacks, spare gear and clothes. Everything she owned in this world fit into a small duffle bag that she slung over her shoulder before hurrying to her friend’s position.

Desta was sitting on a crate playing fruit ninja on her omni-tool. The game had come to space with humanity and become a hit on the citadel. “Desta,” She called and the Asari looked up from her game. “What are you doing here? I thought you were shipping out,” She demanded as Athena drew nearer. “Yeah but I just wanted to give you this,” She told her friend, handing her a bundle wrapped in some spare fabric from when she had altered her hood.

Desta took the bundle and unwrapped it. A fist sized sphere made of metal and polymer sat on the cloth. Its dull metal surface looking innocuous. “What is it?” Desta asked and Athena smiled.

“Push the button,” She instructed, pointing to a small blue button inset into the surface. Desta did and the ball lit up and began to hover.

“Greetings,” The ball said in a polite British accent. “Thank you for activating the Personal Access and Scouting Sphere. You may call me Janus,” It informed Desta, bobbing a little on its repulsors. “What?” Desta asked and Athena smiled.

“It’s a VI powered companion, capable of providing tactical info and hacking through most basic systems. It links up to your omni-tool and is essentially a spy drone that can provide you with data on the fly. I programed it myself,” She told her friend, feeling very proud of her creation.

“It’s awesome,” Desta said, watching as the little ball began to float around her. “What happens if someone tries to take it? I know how paranoid you are about your designs,” She asked and Athena found herself grinning wolfishly.

“It goes boom if someone tries to open it and I made sure to shield it from scanning,” She answered smugly.

Desta smiled and hugged her. “Thank you so much. I’ll treasure it. Now you had better get going. I heard that Specters hate to be kept waiting,” Athena nodded, feeling her eyes tear up a little. “Thank you so much for everything Desta. Don’t get dead,” She begged, returning the hug a little. Desta released her and all but shoved her out of the door, a smile on her face. Athena forced her eyes to stop watering and composed herself to greet her new employer.

The ship was unassuming, Asari in make with a few visible weapons to deter attackers. It looked like one of thousands of Asari transports out there. She stood at the airlock and sent a message inside to announce her arrival. The door slid open and Vasir stood there impassively. “Took you long enough,” She remarked and Athena merely inclined her head. “My things were far from Afterlife. It took some time to traverse the station,” She replied calmly.

Vasir looked her over and nodded, standing aside to let Athena in. “This is the Neraleth. It’s mine and everyone working on it are under my employ,” She informed Athena who nodded, accessing the ship manifest.

“Not including yourself or me, there are only eight crew members. Three engineers, one pilot, and four soldiers who assists you on ground missions, one of them acting as the weapons officer,” She remarked, entering and looking around the small ship. To her left was the cockpit, where a young Salarian was running through the pre-flight check list.

“Yes. How did you know?” Vasir demanded and Athena shrugged.

“It’s there for all to see. The manifest is attached to the ship computers. Anyone with any ability could read it,” She replied, turning to the right and looking at the small common with a large central table used for meetings and meals. It was bracketed by sleeper pods on one wall with a kitchenet in the right corner. A communal washroom sat to the left of the common room. The medbay and engineering were on the next floor. Below that, was a small cargo hold, big enough for a small load.

“So I assume that we are leaving soon?” She asked and Vasir nodded, walking past her. “Do you need the tour?” The Specter asked but Athena shook her head.

“No, I have the schematics.” Vasir nodded and pointed to a locker near the sleeper pods. “That one is yours for the trip. Stow your armor and weapons there as well. Hope you like nutrient paste ’cause that’s what’s on the menu,” Vasir informed her and Athena nodded.

“Understood,” She acknowledged. “And the briefing will be in two hours,” Vasir added before walking back toward the cockpit. Athena looked after her and shrugged before walking over to the locker. She unloaded her belongings onto the selves before tucking her bag into the bottom.

She unbuckled her armor and set it neatly on the racks designed to hold it but refrained from removing her cape, body suit, or veil. Her visor was pushed up so it sat on top of her head and her weapons found their homes on the hooks inside her locker. Satisfied with her new arrangement, she pulled out the components for her current project and walked over to one of the seats in the common area. She sat down, quietly checking on her threads.

They were all in a great tizzy, attempting to understand what had caused this sudden shift from their happy routine. She silenced them with a quick summary of the situation and the quickly quieted down. It was a little concerning how independent those threads were becoming. She figured that it was her organic mind attempting to rationalize the numerous data streams she had to sift through faster than the speed of organic thought.

She had grown use to how slow the rest of the universe felt now. A simple conversation could feel like she was talking to an Ent, where it took all day just to say good morning. A day may as well have been a year for her thoughts and she had spent many of them digging into the extranet. It was the only place where things moved at a speed that was anything near comfortable.

She shook her head. A tick she had developed to keep herself from diving too deep into her own brain and focused on the real world. There was a loud thud and she felt the ship disengage from the station. She paused for a moment to revel in the fact that she was leaving Omega before turning her mind back to her threads with a frown. It took her ten whole minutes to reorganize them before she set them back to work.

Mind now relatively quieter, she turned her attention to the pair of projects before her. To the left was a sphere similar to the one she had given Desta, only this one came with more toys and was about the size of a grapefruit. She was in the process of installing it’s coding so she didn’t have to physically tinker with it. With a large percentage of her brain focusing on that, she turned her primary attention to her second project.

The parts were now sitting on the table in front of her ready for her to assemble. These were her prototype gauntlets. She had most of the pieces working, hidden blade, dart launcher, grappling hook, all-purpose jack for if she needed to physically connect to a computer via an external port and an omni-tool for each arm. While she may not need the computing abilities of the Omni-tool, she still had use for the mini fabricator and a handful of other functions including her own version of the omni-blade. Though it was still in testing.

They truly were fabulous pieces of equipment and she intended to utilize them fully. The only problem was the flame thrower functions. It was something she really, really wanted but it was looking like she would have to wait before she could go around barbecuing husks and Krogan. More’s the pity. She sighed and set to work sealing the gauntlets.

The tiny soldering torch on her omni-tool closing seams and smoothing out the surface. “Everyone to the common room for a briefing,” Vasir’s voice told the ship through the comms. Athena looked up, startled out of her work. She noticed Vasir walking out of the cockpit and sitting herself at the head of the table.

“What is that?” The Specter asked, pointing at Athena’s projects Athena looked down at them and shrugged.

“Some toys I’ve been working on. Multipurpose gauntlets and a spy drone,” She answered pushing the button to activate the drone, testing its programing. It whirled to life and floated up. Small panels on it moved as it surveyed the area.

“Hello,” A familiar synthetic female voice greeted her. “I see that I have been activated. How nice,” It drawled and Athena grinned under her veil. It turned and a small glowing yellow eye opened and surveyed her.

“How do you do?” It asked her formally and Athena inclined her head. “I am well and glad that your activation went smoothly. Please state your designation and purpose for testing purposes,” She directed it.

The sphere floated a little high. “This is the Personal access and Scouting sphere, designation Glados. This device is designed to act as a real time scout, information retrieval unit and tactical data relay to its maker. Current Designation: Neith,” It informed the room and Athena nodded at her creation.

“Thank you Glados. Please settle into orbit and observe,” She commanded. “Confirmed,” The globe floated to just behind her left shoulder and went silent.

“Is that an AI?” Vasir demanded, reaching for her side arm but Athena shook her head.

“No, it is not an AI, just a very realistic VI. I spent a lot of time working on the coding, making sure it fell within council regulations.” Vasir took her hand off of her pistol but continued to watch the small sphere that bobbed behind Athena’s shoulder.

“If that thing goes rogue then I will kill you. Understand me?” She demanded. Athena nodded and sent a mental command to Glados that set it to only transmitting in her head. ‘It’s good to see that they fear us. Fear is an excellent motivator,’ Glados remarked smugly. Athena sighed, great. Another voice in her head. At the rate they were accumulating she should start charging rent.

At that thought, a thread alerted the others and they began giving out bargains for how much each thread was willing to pay for the privilege of using her mind. It included fixed monthly rates and bonus payments to be assigned to the more choice assignments. She let out a groan and threw her head forward. Smacking it into the table loudly. Vasir stared at her as she shook her head hard and sat up again, rubbing her forehead.

“Sorry. Medical condition,” She mumbled as an explanation. “What kind of condition?” Vasir demanded and Athena shrugged. “A form of twitch, non-contagious and doesn’t affect my fighting capabilities,” She informed her new boss with a sigh. Vasir looked at her uncertainly from the corner of her eye but turned her attention to her arriving crew. As they entered Athena carefully packed up her project and set them in a neat pile next to her.

The crew members sat down and looked at Athena warily, uncertain of her or her new friend. The pilot was a Salarian by the name of Jedran Vesak, once a shuttle pilot press ganged into Vasir’s service. A pair of Asari with very similar facial features watched Athena carefully, the one on the left occasionally letting her hand drift to the pistol holstered on her thigh. Athena’s threads identified them as Ana and Vela T’nos. Siblings who both served in the Asari navy, one as a ship engineer and the other as a Commando.
A Salarian wearing a dark blue jumpsuit covered in grease stains sat down, cleaning his hands off on a rag. Asran Nesal, former private machinist, now working for Vasir. Another Asari with pale lavender skin sat next to Asran, looking at Athena with curious eyes. Lena Letal, young maiden who tried to go play mercenary but wound up captured by slavers and subsequently freed by Vasir. She worked as the third engineer for this ship.

The last two were another Asari commando and a Turian who had finished his tour in the military. They were picked up in a bar by Vasir when she was looking for crew. Their names were Sira and Calamus Sektus, recently married. This diverse crew seemed interesting enough, though none of them were very old. None of the Asari were over five centuries.

“Everyone, this is Neith, our computer specialist for this mission.” Vasir introduced, gesturing to Athena who nodded her head in greeting.

“Why do we need a specialist?” Vela, the commando demanded refusing to take her eyes from Athena, trying to pierce the shadows of Athena’s hood.

“Because we are going to be going to be investigating corruption in several major corporations we think are in some way connected in funding a human extremist group,” Vasir told them seriously. “While not an obvious threat yet, they have been found to be performing some rather…unethical experiments on everyone they can get their hands on. As such, they have been deemed a minor threat at the moment and the council has asked me to investigate them.”

Athena stiffened. “We’re hunting Cerberus?” She asked quietly, drawing everyones attention to her.

“Yes,” Vasir answered, her face set in a grim expression.

“What do you know of them?” Vela demanded and Athena turned her eyes to them slowly.

“Far more than anyone in this room. Let me simply say that however bad you think they are, they’re worse. Whatever depraved rumors you’ve heard of them are most likely true. They need to be taken down. If we’re going after the hell hound then I am an enthusiastic participant,” She told them, her voice soft and slightly menacing.

The whole table stared at her in shock. “We are currently gathering information on them. If they warrant taking down, then we do, but this is not just a way to satisfy a vendetta. Is that clear?” Vasir demanded sternly after recovering from her shock. Athena turned away a little, staring into the shadows behind Jedran. “Crystal,” She replied in her usual monotone.

“What the hell did they do to you anyway?” Ana asked, leaning forward curiously. Athena lowered her head a little before turning to face Vasir. “There is a reason Aria was able to sell me to you the way that she did,” She answered simply.

Vasir stared at her in shock. “Sell you?” She demanded in surprise.

“You didn’t think I was a willing employee, did you?” Athena answered, a touch of bitterness in her voice. Vasir looked a little uncomfortable and Athena sighed, shaking her head.

“That explains the hostility,” She muttered before adding in a louder voice. “Aria holds my life in her hands. If I don’t obey she will sell me to Cerberus. As a result, I am little more than a slave to her and now it seems to you,” She finished, holding Vasir’s eyes from the shadows of her hood. The entire crew stared at her on shock but Athena ignored them, choosing instead to focus on Vasir.

Their staring match lasted only a few moments but Vasir broke away, looking back at the Hologram and Athena decided to refocus on the mission. “Tell me what are we looking for and where. I have a great deal of experience with their systems. Just point me at them and they will never even know we were there,” She said, poking a thread through the files in Vasir’s omni-tool looking for the mission files. Vasir seemed to shake herself back to work and brought up a hologram of a building.

“This is Zennax Incorporated. Our intel believes it to be a shell front for Cerberus. Their credits help fund their operations, also there is some rumor about them having a link to several of their more…clandestine projects,” She informed them, hesitating a little as she searched for a word. Athena leaned forward and squinted at the building, her threads already gleefully diving into the extranet looking for their target.

She flicked her visor down for show and cocked her head to the side. “They are. The company’s main shareholder only exists on paper. The money is being funneled through several accounts before landing in the Cerberus coffers,” She reported before leaning back and activating her sapphire omni-tool. She showed them the files she had just pulled up, including a more detailed blueprint of the building. The others stared at her, their mouths hanging open.

“How… when…how?” Vasir demanded looking at the files that were transferred to the main holoprojector. “I’m good at what I do,” Athena answered simply. The others shook their heads in awe and Vasir frowned. “With this intel, that means we had to get in there and crack their secure databases. They’re on an independent server not linked to the extranet. We need all that data,” She ordered, looking stern.

“Neith, you have combat and infiltration experience right?” She asked looking to Athena who nodded. “It’s among my capabilities, yes,” She answered. Vasir nodded and rubbed her nose. “Right, Neith and I will go in, get the data and get out. I want the ship standing by, ready to get us out of there if it goes south,” She commanded and everyone nodded in agreement. “Dismissed,” Vasir told them but looked at Athena. “You, stay, please,” She added and Athena sank back into her seat, waiting.

“Aria said that you were a private contractor who owed her a favor. What are you actually?” She asked once the others had returned to their activities, leaving them alone in the common area. Athena flicked her visor up and leaned back in her chair, considering the Asari in front of her. “Aria keeps me from being handed back to Cerberus. They don’t like it when their test subjects escape. We tend to hold grudges,” She explained briefly Vasir shook her head. “What were they testing on you?” She asked.

Athena shrugged. “Pain management. They wanted to see what would happen if you stimulated the brain to imagine pain. How would the body react,” She answered simply. “Goddess,” Vasir breathed is horror. Athena shook her head and stood, gathering her projects and tucking them under her arm. “Do you know anything about human mythologies Specter?” She asked conversationally and Vasir shook her head, confused where this conversation was leading.

“Can’t say that I do,” She admitted. “Cerberus is the three headed hell hound that guards the entrance of the Underworld. Its purpose was to keep souls in and prevent the living from entering. I intend to seal the mouth of hell and starve the hellhound where it stands. My codename Neith is the name of the Ancient Egyptian goddess of Hunting, wisdom and war. I will bring war to their doorstep,” Athena informed her employer, frost leaking into her voice.

Vasir stared at her, noting how she could see the resolve in Neith’s frame even though none of the human’s face was visible. “Glad to have you aboard,” She settled for, smiling and offering her hand to her newest crewmember. Neith looked down at the limb for a moment before reaching out and taking it.

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4 Replies to “Goddess of War”

  1. I love the new site I wish I had found it sooner being able to read the creations of two amazing authors is a privilege. I look forward to seeing what you create next.
    I love this story the idea and backstory are great and seeing how Athena progresses and grows is amazing.
    I can not wait for the next chapter.

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