She was nearing her mid-thirties now. But frankly Megan didn’t feel any different with age, although much has changed over the past three and a half years. The brief war against the batarians was by no means forgotten, but at least over. The last news Megan heard, relating to the Batarian-Turian Conflict was plans of a statue to be erected near the embassies over the lake. And, even though she had no interest in memorials of past victories and failures, the news of the statue was something that made her smile, slight and mournfully.
Megan was on leave for the fourth time in her military career. The first and second time she was granted time off was after a few injuries and pressing family matters not even she could avoid, much to her disdain. The third occasion was…well, she didn’t ask for it, but she was given it as a “Sorry people you knew and served with died. Take some time off; you’ve earned” from a higher up that was sent to manage her and other matters concerning the Alliance.
Her fourth time off-duty was brought on by stress. After some debriefing and psyche-evaluating, her superiors put her on Mindoir at another training base since the surge of biotics in the system. Not that she minded…She was, after all, in the beginning an instructor and enjoyed the job, finding Mindoir calming, although a bit haunting because of its batarian stained past. And despite this, a few good things did come out of the growing colony.
In a span of three and a half years, she actually managed to get married. Not exactly something anyone Megan knew would expect, much less think would ever happen, but it did. Even now, old friends and family pass her a teasing wink and often say, “You finally got hitched, huh Meg? Who would’ve thought…” and then a following comment that differed with everyone she knew. But, once again, Megan didn’t mind. What she did mind was how shocked they were to find out that she married a colonist rather than another military-goer, such as herself.
She met Henri after she went through her first enlistment of trainees and recovery week (the last week of training) had come and gone. The recruits that pulled through and graduated, at the time, would have be receiving news of their first posting away from Mindoir. Henri, whose nephew was coincidentally among her trainees, spotted her outside of her usual military attire while spending a free day away from her barracks. It all escalated from there.
Her husband – still such a strange thing to say, even after a year of marriage – would be arriving in a week to join her on the Citadel, leaving Megan to enjoy the brief isolation of her old apartment. The small apartment had been something she bought before she ever enlisted into the Alliance, and it hadn’t changed much since. Still, it had been a home away from home, a small fragment of peace found within the Citadel.
Until it was disturbed by one reporter who knew her name.
Megan had token to wandering through the Zakera Ward, full of foreign races and nameless faces, all of which she became more comfortable with rather than being surrounded by those of the same species. She spotted the reporter first, but paid no mind. The woman was pressing a volus for questions, not being outwardly violent, but Megan could tell by her stance and body language that nothing about what she was saying was even remotely pleasant. Still, Megan left it alone.
It was until she heard a determined voice call her name. “Sergeant Kane?”
She turned to attention at the mention of her rank, rather than her name. Even off-duty, it was hard to get rid of her solider “quirks”.
“Yes?” Megan replied, caught off guard.
“Khalisah al-Jilani of Westerlund News. It’s nice to meet you.” She smiled, her own personal droid floating just behind her, taking notes for her report.
Megan fought the urge to scowl. “What do you want, ma’am?”
“You were a part of the final battle during the Turian-Batarian Conflict, correct?”
“Yes.” The biotic said. Her name was left out of official reports and statements that were published as she was not, by any means, the one who took down the dreadnought. But the Alliance was delicate with the handling of it. She was quite pleased that her odd position with her former turian crew during the weeks before the discovery of the batarains’ plans was left unknown to the general public. But something about al-Jilani made her nose twitch and the rest of her person fidget.
“Is it true that you served onboard a turian vessel, which uncovered evidence that the batarians were conspiring against the Council?”
This was when she frowned, and cursed silently. “I cannot offer any statement regarding my previous postings in regards to your question,” she answered quickly, her tone forced and strong. She could see al-Jilani scowl, if only for a second.
“What is your personal stance on the Alliance’s choice to offer assistance during the conflict’s climax?”
“Ma’am, I’ll give you this: I was there. I support the Alliance’s decision and I was proud to be there.”
The report’s eyes widened as though she magically caught a whiff of a scandal or something equally delicious and potentially good for her career. “So you were among the human assistance given at the final battle?” She sounded very giddy.
Megan nodded a bit stiffly. “Yes, ma’am, I was.”
“Sergeant Kane, are you aware of the general opinion of humans regarding the Alliance’s actions? Many don’t agree with the Alliance lending their support to the turians.”
And al-Jilani was among them, Megan thought glumly. But the mention of her name brought a frown to her face. How did the reporter know her name? Al-Jilani knew of her posting on a turian frigate, but not of her role during the final battle against the batarians, Megan realized quickly. The question of how she found out such information made Megan inwardly cringe, but she preferred to remain clueless. The biotic was very much against the thought of someone looking through her files and hunting her down. Still…
“Many humans died that day. I understand the outrage, but…” She thought of Sanus, the Nihlus and the turian fleet. Their sacrifices shouldn’t have to be bashed by one reporter and so many others who shared al-Jilani’s overly pro-humanity views. And thinking this, Megan knew her knowledge about the turians was limited, only rooted from her experience alongside her turian comrades, but she hoped the Turian Hierarchy would erect a memorial in honor of the fallen on their home planet, as the Council was to do. It could change the minds of certain people like Jilani.
After a moment of silent thought, Megan continued by saying, “More turians died that day, ma’am. I believe that’s something you can’t forget.”
The woman looked at the other in disdain and expression of annoyance and surprise past across her face. Maybe al-Jilani expected the biotic to be pro-humanity to the extent that she’d openly bash the Alliance’s decision, or just wasn’t agreeing with Megan’s own views. Whatever it was, the research al-Jilani did, came up to be useless as Megan didn’t give her what she wanted: A big exclusive on how a surviving veteran of the Turian-Batarian conflict was against the Alliance.
Being given no more questions, Megan turned away from her. “Wait, Sergeant Kane! I have one more question!”
The biotic continued walking away though, thinking of the Nihlus and Sanus. Maybe she’d return to see the memorial statue next time she visited the Citadel.