"Okay, Solona, just use your biotics to pick up the sphere," said the instructor. Her life had largely been sessions like this since she got her implant two weeks prior. She had yet to use her biotics. After what she had done, she wouldn't allow herself to.
Still, she made a show before she said, "I can't do it." This was how it always went, but the instructor didn't seem to be phased by it. She must have seen this a lot before, but Solona's resolve was solid. She refused to even try to use her biotics. Eventually they would give up and send her away, she was sure.
The door opened and the soldier who had brought her here, a Sanex Pagasi, said, "Mrs. Ursinas, a moment please." The instructor left the room and joined her counterpart in the hallway. The door slid shut and Solona buried her head in her hands, reminding herself why she was here.
Outside, in the hall
"We need to get her training started. These delays are unproductive," said Sanex.
"She is afraid to use her biotics, as she should be. She might be untrained, but she spikes higher than any turian I've ever seen. We have to be gentle, careful, or she'll be unstable. We both know that won't help anyone," said Pavan Ursinas.
"No, it wouldn't help, but it could take months to break down her barriers and get her to cooperate. That sort of timeline is unacceptable," said Sanex.
Pavan leaned against the wall before saying, "And what would you have me do? Beat her into using them? Because I won't."
"No, but I will," said Sanex.
The door opened with a swish, and Solona felt a rush of air into the room. After a moment, the air intensified and pushed her against the far wall. She noticed the blue glow around her and realized it wasn't wind, but biotics. Sanex stepped into the room and the door closed behind him, its control panel glowing red. She was locked in now.
Sanex flung her against the far wall, then back again. He then dropped her to the ground, and she fell to her hands and knees. Sanex walked over and kicked her in the side of the head, which bounced off the wall. He grabbed her by her fringe and threw her onto the table the sphere from the early exercise was on. It snapped in half and she hit the ground hard.
Sanex put his foot on her chest and said, "I'm going to kill you. Resist if you want the slightest of chances to live." Solona tried to push him off, but he was a lot stronger than she was and had a weight advantage.
"No! I can't! I won't! Just kill me! It's nothing less than I deserve!" she shouted at him.
He reached down and grabbed her by the throat, pulling her within inches to say, "I'm going to take my time. And it's going to hurt a lot."
The next hour consisted of him throwing her around the room. He ended up breaking several ribs and cracking her carapace. She was knocked unconscious from the impacts, but he kept at it anyway. As he unlocked the door, he told Pavan to clean Solona up for the next session.
Pavan cleaned the blood off of Solona and put medigel on her cuts. The ribs and carapace were beyond her, however, so she had to leave them alone. No reason to make things worse than they already were. It also meant she couldn't move Solona to her quarters.
As she left the room, she stopped at the door and said, "I'm so sorry."
Solona heard the words, but they didn't register. She couldn't think, could hardly breathe. She tried to move her aching body, but the pain only worsened. She broke down and started to cry. She wished her family was there. She wished she was back at the training facility with the rest of the recruits, sparring with Pax. If she knew then she had biotics, she wouldn't have left the medical facility that day. She wouldn't be here, broken and alone.
She realized it hadn't been her fault. Her mother likely didn't even know she had been exposed. The abilities could have developed at any time, and the extra element zero Solona had been exposed to had just kicked it off at that time. She was trying so hard to be accepted by the others for her technical and leadership skills, but it just ended up making her a target. She had seen some of the others glaring at her and assumed it was jealousy.
She thought about her family, back on Carthaan. The funerals were a painful experience, the coffins closed so she couldn't see their mutilated bodies. She knew her family had loved her, and told her daily. She felt so cut off from everyone now. She hadn't even made any friends at training. Hell, the boy she hated with such passion now was just trying to be friendly when he asked her his questions. She had just blown him off and tried to kill him in every combat simulation. Looking back, she couldn't believe how cold-hearted she had been.
She was cursed with biotic powers, but she had to master them. She had to learn to control them for Pax, for her family, for everyone she had let down. She was going to do everything she could to make it up to the members of Red Team. She decided that was the first thing she would do. She slowly began to drift off to sleep.
The next morning, Solona was awakened by the sound of Pavan entering the room. She had a medic with her, and knelt next to Solona. The medic stuck a needle into her arm and Solona felt the pain starting to fade.
Pavan looked deeply troubled as she said, "Solona, listen to me, please. Sanex is going to be here soon, and he is going to hurt you again. I don't want him to, but I can't stop him. Please, just tell me you'll do the training, and I'll try to convince him not to. You can't take much more of this punishment. Once he has broken enough bones, he'll move on to... other things. You don't want that."
"I... Last night I... I'm cursed with these powers, and I've failed people... My friends... My family... Pax... I've got to make it up to them somehow... I'll do the training... But I need to do some things first," said Solona.
"Of course, Solona, tell me what you want to do, and I'll see if I can help," said Pavan.
"I want to set things right with the members of Red Team. They deserve the truth. And I want to go back to Carthaan, to my family's graves. I don't know if they can hear me, but..." said Solona.
Pavan looked down for a moment, then said, "You need some time to heal, but we'll go as soon as we can. I'll go tell Sanex you've agreed to the training. That should satisfy him..."
One week later...
"Are you sure about this, Solona? We don't have to do it," said Pavan.
Solona shook her head before saying, "No, it's something I have to do."
The shuttle touched down moments later, and they stepped out onto the training facility. Most of Red Team was off on training exercises, but the ones who knew Pax the best were present in the small room Solona and Pavan walked into.
They obviously hadn't been told why they were here, because one of them stood up and almost charged across the room at Solona. The others stood and grabbed her shoulder to keep her from doing anything too rash, but they all glared at Solona with the same hatred. Solona looked down, ashamed.
Raising her head, she said, "I tried to impress everyone with my technical and leadership abilities, but I think I turned everyone against me instead. I didn't think anything of it before, but now... My friends and my family were killed seven months ago during the raid on Carthaan. I saw it with my own two eyes. The move here was supposed to keep my mind off of it, and I pushed my self to perform, to make them proud. I've failed. I wish now I could have done things differently, but I can't change the past. All I have is the future. And I promise, I'm going to do everything in my power to change my ways. I know it doesn't make it right how I've treated everyone, but it's all I can do."
Coming to the important part, she continued, "I didn't know Pax. But I know he didn't deserve to die how he did. The instructors told you he died of a blood clot, but that's not true... I... I killed him... With my biotics. It was an accident, but it doesn't change the facts. I know I can never make it up to him... to any of you... and I understand if you hate me, but.... I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to do it, but it happened. And I have to live with that every day of my life."
Solona looked down again, unable to look at their accusing faces anymore. The female of the group looked as though she had just been hit with a hammer. That changed almost instantly.
She broke free from her team mates and charged at Solona. Solona didn't even resist as she was dragged to the ground, and barely put her hands up to cover her head from the blows raining down at it. The others rushed forward and pulled the girl off of Solona. She tried to break free again, but they were ready this time.
One of them stepped between Solona and the other girl and said, "Sula! Sula! Wait, this isn't what Pax would have wanted! You knew him better than any of us, and you know he wouldn't want this. Solona is going to suffer every day from this. Don't let that happen to you too."
Sula stopped struggling and turned to Solona to say, "If I ever, ever see you again, you're dead bitch." With that she left the room with one of the other two turians. The last one turned to her. She recognized him as the one who had questioned her about being here.
She opened her mouth to speak, but he spoke first, "I'm sorry I poked into your personal life. I didn't know about your family. As for Pax, I forgive you. Some things are uncontrollable, and it could have happened to anyone. But I never want to see you again. The others feel the same way."
Solona nodded and said, "And I'm sorry I overreacted to your questions. You were just trying to help, after all, but I was so caught up in everything and... I'm sorry. Goodbye, Arkadios Sol. Honor and glory to you."
"Honor and glory," he agreed before leaving.
They boarded the shuttle and left for Carthaan. All she had left to do was say goodbye to her family one last time, and she would be ready to begin her training.