August 18th 4:30 AM
St Pauls Cathedral, South Transept Hospital
The field hospital at St Pauls had been run by Admiral Hacketts professional surgeon, Dr. Harry Barlow. For two days she had been in a daze, fading in and out of reality. She was not wearing her hood or mask due to the sanitized conditions of the hospital. When she finally snapped out of it 5 minutes ago she had been greeted by Dr. Barlow who told her that she had a Bacterial Infection from the un-sanitized wound on her leg. He told her that her youth had saved her life for a Quarian above 30 her wound would have been a death sentence. As he got done with all the technicalities regarding her condition he told her that she had a visitor. She suddenly had a wild fantasy that it was Shepard but she cut the fantasy off before she could disappoint herself.
Who is it? she asked Barlow. He motioned out the door and another Quarian in an Admirals suit came in. As Tali realized who it was emotion rose inside of her. Admiral
Raan pulled off her mask. Her face had grown paler than she last saw her but her dark eyes still had the fire Tali knew she would always have. Tali
. Raan smiled as she sat down next to Tali. Behind them Dr. Barlow made a note on his pad before he spoke to Raan. Ill leave you two alone Raan glanced at the doctor as he went out the door. Thanks doctor. Raan looked back at Tali. Tali felt comforted that she was no longer the only Quarian in the hospital. Why are you here? Tali soon regretted her tone but Raan didnt seem to notice. Im here on official business, but I am here for you also Tali Tali felt the emotion rise higher in her chest. She almost chocked on it as she spoke. Whats
.the official business? Raan reached out and touched her hand. We will go over that in a few minutes. First I want to know how you are Tali. Before Tali could speak Raan looked Tali over. She was pale but her eyes still lit up with fire. Her hair was up to keep it out of her face. She looked like a friend of hers that had given birth to the very women in front of her
ADMIRAL SHALARAAN VAS TONBAY
June 24th 2161
Flotilla Ship Rayya
Raan had just been promoted to Admiral by the Admiralty Board. However the ceremony had to be cut short. She had received an urgent message from her friend RaelZorah that his wife, whom she was also close to was having the child she was expecting. Raan had rushed to the room where Vara was at and she found her alone. Where is Rael? Vara realized her friend was here and smiled through her obvious pain. Hes at a meeting on the Neema, he requested that...you be here in his stead". She held her stomach. The baby is coming Shala
but I have no one to synch suits with Raan looked at her. Are you asking me to help you deliver her? Vara closed her eyes briefly from the pain. Even with pain medications it looked like Vara was still in pain. She opened them after a few seconds. Yes
my friend I cant think
of a better person to be here than you.
Synching suits during birth was mostly done between the father of the child and the mother. The synching would mean the baby would have a better chance at surviving. Raan would not back out of this. She looked Vara in the eyes. I am honored Vara to sych suits with you. Vara suddenly twisted in pain. Shes coming
.get our suits synched
. Raan pulled up her omni-tool and she helped Vara pull up hers. A tube began to extend from both of their suits and Raan attached hers to Varas. The job of the father was now being done by Raan while Rael was away. As both their omni-tools beeped notifying the synch was a success Raan got down toward Varas legs. Are you ready? Vara twisted in pain again but managed to glance at Raan. Yes Shala
.I am.. Raan rached for her hand and Vara gripped it. Raan looked at Vara. Ok on the count of three
three Varas face contorted as she pushed and she gripped Raans hand hard. She stopped a second later her face flushed. Raan looked at Vara. Breathe deeply Vara
you have to... Vara nodded and then began to push and breathe. Raan saw a head beginning to emerge. She glanced back at Vara and squeezed her hand. One more time Vara! Youre doing a good job
almost there! Vara pushed and she bit down hard to keep from screaming. Suddenly a childs cries filled the room. Raan released Varas hand and held the baby briefly as a Quarian nurse came rushing in. Oh Admiral! I'm sorry" And then she looked at the new born infant still attached to the cord. The nurse rushed over and cut it. There, sorry I was tending to another patient Raan nodded and looked at the baby. With one look she knew it was a: Vara
its a baby girl! Raan began to tear up as she looked at Vara. Vara looked exaughsted. The nurse was smiling too. Vara said weakly with a tearful smile: I want to see my daughter Raan handed the baby girl to Vara. The baby was healthy she was still whimpering. Her eyes shined brightly like Varas and she had Varas dark hair. Vara began to cry as she held her daughter. The baby reached up to touch her mothers face and Vara held the tiny hand. Vara glanced at Raan and the the nurse and both of them were smiling. Then Vara smiled. Raan asked: What are you going to name her Vara? Vara looked at her daughters face. The baby stopped whimpering and was looking at Vara with interest. Tali
I like Tali, it was my grandmothers name Vara glanced at Raan. Tali
say hi to your aunt Shala'Raan Raan had tears in her eyes and she could only think of one thing: Kelah
.Vara, shes so beautiful
She spent the next few minutes explaining the past 3 days. And Raan had listened with the patience she had gained over the years. After she ended her story Raan looked at her. Tali your father was always right about you being a leader
.you accepted this mission to help Shepard not only because you loved him but also because you felt the people you served with needed you Tali looked down. I havent looked at it that way
.I just thought of the adventure of it and that I had a duty to help Shepard
Raan shook her head. You need to think deeper Tali dear, what fate has in store for you I do not know but I have always believed you would go on to do great things. Tali felt the emotion break and she felt the pain she had felt over the past year finally escape she put a hand up to her face to try and hide the tears. Raan reached over and hugged her. Tali
Tali tried to control her emotions. Auntie. Raan managed to control hers. Tali sat up and she wiped away her tears. Raan reached into her pouch on her belt. If you want to know what fate has in store then this will be the first step She pulled out a pad and handed it to Tali. She reached out and took the data pad. Raan spoke as Tali read it. At the Summit yesterday the Admiralty Board and the various leaders of the other civilizations decided on a plan of action to repair the Mass Relay in this system. Admiral Hackett called it The Mass Relay Project. He has selected the best engineers and scientific minds to help in this project. Including-" Tali cut her off. Me. Raan nodded Yes. The Project however cant start unless we know more about the technology within the Mass Relay. The best place to search for the data would be inside Harbinger Tali nearly dropped the data pad and Tali felt a twinge of fear. What? You mean go inside of the thing that led the Reapers? Raan looked at Tali with a firm look. We have no choice
the Citadel is another place but its better to get the data from the source Tali looked down. And I guess Harbinger is the source? Raan nodded Harbinger is the oldest known Reaper and therefore may hold many secrets. Tali looked at the pad again. And who am I doing this with? Raan didnt hesitate to tell her. Major Garrus Vakarian, Lieutenant Marius Proteus, and Lieutenant GaelRa vas Moreh Tali looked up quickly from the pad as alarm bells went off in her head. Gael is coming? Raan looked at her with a worried look. Yes why? Tali looked down and she felt some happiness but she also felt worried cause Gael had been her old friend but Tali felt reassured that he was coming. She hesitiatedbefore saying: Because Gael is dependable and a good choice
TALIZORAH at 11
December 20th, 2172
Flotilla Ship Neema
She was deep in thought working on the last few questions on her exam. Her father sat off to the side donning his new Admirals uniform beaming at her. The test was full of math and engineering problems, something she excelled at. She laughed to herself how easy the questions were. Within 5 minutes she was on the last question. It was about how to dissassemble a fuel injector system within the drive core. And Tali smiled because she had at least done it several hundred times before. When she finished the question she looked up at the Instructor who was waiting patiently for her to finish and then she looked at her father who nodded. She got up and walked to her instructor who smiled as she handed him the exam. He nodded. Thank you Miss Zorah and then he glanced at her father. The results should be here in a day or two Admiral Zorah Rael bowed slightly: Thank you Mr Darim Rael looked at Tali then motioned to the classroom door. Lets go home Tali, your mother will be waiting with dinner, and you know how she gets when you miss dinner He winked at Tali who stifled a laugh. As they walked out her father put an arm around her shoulder. Im proud of you Tali,your taking a big step Tali looked up into her fathers eyes and smiled. And Ill make you more proud dad.
The Engineering Entrance Exam was the test you needed to take if you wanted to get into the Quarian Engineering Training Program. Since she was two her father had noticed Tali had a gift for putting things together and making them work. At 5 Tali had built a Drive Core for one of the thrusters on the Neema. After that Rael decided it was time to cultivate her skills. He took her to the Neemas engine room and she had been amazed by the energy and activity it took to operate the vast ships in their Flotilla. Since then she had not gone two days without seeing an engine. However her talents won her criticisms from her peers who thought she was weird or a bit strange for wanting to be an engineer since she was an Admirals daughter. They called her Red Blood, a nasty term that mean you thought you were above everyone. It was mostly given to the Captains, the Admirals and their families. She usually came home feeling detached from the world around her. However that day her father would realize she was more than an engineer and Tali would realize she was not alone.
As soon as she and her father stepped out of the testing room she heard commotion in the room next door and heard a person yelling. Tali reacted faster than her dad and she peered inside the classroom next door. A thin little boy was being pinned against the wall by two larger boys. The larger of the two said: Well Gaely you owe us big for that broken monitor that cost my dad a weeks wages The small boy began to struggle and sob. No!...it was an accident! The shorter of the two bullies sneered. The only accident was that you survived birth! The Larger boy was about to hit him when Tali ran into the room. HEY! You leave him alone! The two bullies turned and they recognized Tali. Well isnt it the Prodigy. You come crawling out of your engine to wipe this kids ass? Tali clenched her fists. You let him go! The smaller of the two bullies came closer to her and got in her face. Or what Red Blood? You gonna call your father? She felt something explode inside of her. Everyone knew that her father was the Admiral on the Neema. Tali tried to control her anger but seeing her hesitate the larger bully began to laugh. Youre as spineless as your fath- Instantly Tali launched herself at him and she used all her weight to knock him down. He fell on top of a desk that broke in two and she began to kick him. Then the other bully recovered from shock and was about to hit her. Suddenly her father entered the room. You Boshtets leave my daughter alone! The smaller of the bullies nearly tripped as he bolted from the room. The second bully on the floor realized Tali was still on top of him. And he launched his fist into her face. She saw stars as pain shot through her jaw. He then bolted but Rael caught him around the collar. You and your friend will pay for today He looked at the bully in the face and saqw fear. Rael smiled and released him. "I know you Mr.Oni and I know your parents, they will hear about this incident." The bully looked up in fear. And Rael pointed to the door. "Now get the hell out of here!" The last bully bolted out of the room after his accomplice. Tali felt her face and she saw blood on her hand. Red Blood. She made her hand into a fist and she felt the anger still but then remembered the small kid. She looked over at him .He was in obvious terror and was panting with tears running down his cheeks. His suit was ripped where the one bully had gripped him. Tali got up and walked over to him. He looked up at her. You..your face Tali shrugged. Ill be fine she held out her hand and the boy hesitated before he took it and she pulled him up. Youll be ok your safe now He nodded. She smiled through her pain. Whats your name? The boy smiled quickly. Gael
.Gael'Ra nar Tonbay Tali smiled glancing quickly at her dad who stood back admiring her. Then Gael asked her: Whats your name? And Tali looked at him and noticed his smile, she looked down self-consciously, she was always shy but she quickly looked up at him with a smile. Tali
TaliZorah nar Rayya
As Tali went home that day she had made a close friend. She had also made her dad "More proud". Rael'Zorah now knew his daughter was not only an engineer but was also a leader. A day later the results from the EEE were back. She would be enrolled as an Cadet Engineer that Spring. And to her delight Gael had shared the engineers mind. She was in the academy for 7 years. In 2175 Gael enrolled and was accepted. And As Tali progressed through the Engineering program so too did Gael who was following in her footsteps. When Tali graduated in July 2179 she was the top engineer. Gael followed her out in 2183 and Tali had been there to see Gael graduate right before her father and her Admiralty Board sent her on her pilgramage (and the events of ME1).
TALI'ZORAH at 25
As she finished reading the data pad Raan pulled out another one from her pouch. Tali looked up and she saw the expression on Raan's face. "What's that one about?" Raan smiled. "I think you know". Tali felt the excitement coming and Raan's smiled reinforced it. "Is....is it about Shepard?" Raan nodded "Yes, I spoke with the Admirals about you and Shepard...Gerrel would hear nothing of it but Xena dn Koris both gave their support, but only if I asked Hackett." Tali looked at the pad in Raan's hand. "Did..did he say yes? and Gerrel isn't fond of anyone.." Raan nodded. "Indeed...and yes Hackett gave his approval" Tali tiled her head as she looked at the person who was the only family she had left. "Why did you go this far for me and Shepard Auntie?"
Admiral Raan looked past Tali before looking back at her face. She hesitated before saying: "Besides our fate there are people whose destiny lies with us...your all I have Tali, Vara and Rael are gone and Rannoch is on the other side of that Relay. I want you happy dear. You have a long road ahead of you..." Raan looked down was obviously sad. Tali was worried though as more concerns popped into her head. "How do you think everyone will react?...I mean Sheaprd is going to wake up...and there is a chance our relationship will continue...do you think there will be criticisms and speculation against a Quarian being in a relationship with a very famous Human?" Raan looked at her. "I don't know Tali..." Tali felt some air escape her. Then Raan put a hand on her shoulder. "Tali...your heart has always been full of affection and strong of will...you have overcome much not just for yourself but also for those you love." Tali squeezed her hand. And Tali looked at her. Raan asked: "What does your heart say dear?" Tali thought of everything that happened in her life and she realized she had always taken risks. If she had taken none she would be an unknown Quarian on the Flotilla still. She finally said: "I am willing to bear the criticisms and threats to my health and my being...I am my own person...and..I love Shepard" Raan smiled. "Shepard is the man for you Tali. He was there for you at the trial when my hands were tied". Tali felt suddenly guilty for how she had yelled at Raan for not helping her after the Trial was over. Tali realized that Raan may be doing this to atone for the sins Rael had caused and for how she could't protect Tali at the trial.
Tali squeezed her hand again. "Auntie...what happened to my father was not your fault...what happened at the trial was not your fault." Raan looked down and Tali realized she was crying. Raan looked at Tali. "Tali...Ive been here since you were born. Rael was always right about you. But I think he underestimated the depth of your character..." Raan pulled Tali into a hug. "No matter what happens from now on Tali...I'll always be here for you" Tali began to feel the emotion pour over her again and she closed her eyes and she said with the love and affection for her last surviving family member: "And you will always be a part of me."