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Krogan Airdrop

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Vok’s eyes narrow as Diana backs up from the edge, preparing for a running start. He grins, they’re almost out. But then his eyes hit upon the cracked floor right at the edge, and in an instant, he just knows that it’s going to give way the next time weight is put on it. His head snaps up, but Diana is already in motion when he yells her name. It doesn’t slow her down, she must think he’s only trying to spur her on.

The decision is made in an instant. Now, it all makes sense. Why he couldn’t pick up the Elcor bowl. Why he carried the damn jet pack around, even if there didn’t seem to be a use for it. The grin comes back onto his face. This is the moment. His moment.

He slams his foot into the deck and vaults forward, sailing way past the ramp and toward Diana. In the same second, her foot hits the crumbling edge, and it gives way, sending her tumbling toward the first floor, and the squad of Reaper creatures, instead of propelling her toward the Rubicon. Her face falls as the realization hits her.

Vok fires his jet pack, hurtling him towards her. He catches her with an arm around her middle, pulling her into his chest as they plummet downward. Yet as he reaches for the controls to bring them back up, the device only fizzes and makes an unhelpful noise.

“Stupid machine!” he grumbles. At the same time, his reflexes, honed by centuries of battle, kick in. It may have been decades since he last had an opportunity to use this particular maneuver, but his muscles still remember the motions.

By the time his feet slam into the ground, absorbing the entire fall, his free hand has closed around the hilt of his battle hammer. The smoke around him and Diana billows outward from their passing through it, but it still shields them from view, if only for a second. With a mighty roar, Vok unleashes his biotics, detonating his barriers in a powerful nova. Shrieks and grunts echo back from the Reaper creatures, which are now exposed as the smoke is blown away. The shockwave has staggered them, buying him a valuable second.

With a loud, roaring laughter, he swings his hammer in a wide arc, infusing the swing with his biotics. His strength may have failed him earlier, but now it is right there, where he needs it. The heavy weapon smashes through heads and bodies of the grotesque creatures, splattering blood and flesh and bits of tech far into the room.

“Nothing can stop a good old Krogan airdrop!” he shouts, followed by more of his bellowing laugh.

“You… you just saved my life,” Diana says. “Thank you.”

He turns to her. “You’re part of the team! Nobody gets left behind.”

She blinks, startled by his loud voice, but then she smiles.

A couple of shots ring out back to back, drawing Vok’s attention to the far side of the room, where another of the creatures is collapsing to the ground. Three more are behind it, though the one in front goes flying backwards right then, smacking straight into the other two.

A moment later, a whirring noise precedes Volor descending down from the ramp on his grappling hook; the Salarian lands softly beside the pair on the ground.

“Excellent work,” he says. “Quite excellent. Let me just take a look at your jet pack. Diana, would you take the grappler and get on board? I’m afraid it won’t carry all three of us.”

The human moves wordlessly, taking the tool from Volor, while Vok returns his hammer to his back and pulls out his Mattock.

“Can you work while I shoot?”

“Can I work while you shoot? Are you really asking me that? Of course I can. But first…” Vok hears a few buttons being pressed, and then the by now familiar, orange heads-up display pops into his vision. Data from the whole team’s omni-tools, and, no doubt, Milovea’s visor, is being pulled in by Volor’s tool, combined, and then fed back, determining enemy positions and likely firing trajectories. The Reaper creatures fire back, but with the telemetry, it’s exceedingly easy for Vok to side-step the rounds. He returns fire, landing a hit. A couple seconds later, the sniper rifles speak again, bringing down the creature he fired on.

“That’ll do it,” Volor proclaims. “Your jet pack should be good to go now. If you wouldn’t mind giving me a ride?”

Vok barks a laugh. “Climb on!” He waits until he has a solid grip on the little Salarian, then engages his jet pack again. It responds beautifully this time, carrying them straight up, past the ramp. It only takes a minute correction to land them on the deck of the Rubicon, amid the rest of their team.

“Everyone’s on,” Nickens calls out, no doubt into the comms. “Xylo, punch it!”

Jisera groans. “You cannot use your human idioms when you talk to him. You know how literally he takes you.”

As if to confirm her claim, Xylo responds, “Uh… punch the… giant Reaper, Commander? I don’t think… I don’t think that’s going to work out. Are you sure?”

“He means to get out of here,” Jisera explains, voice dripping with exasperation. “It is a human expression.”

“Oh. I see. Getting us out of here. Punching it. Uhm… if everyone could get off the ramp so I can close it?”

They’re already moving as the deck of the ship starts trembling with the feedback from the engines. A moment later, Milovea is the last to clear the ramp, and Jisera hits the button to close the ramp.

“The ramp is closing up. We are good to go.”

“Affirmative. Course laid in.”

Milovea walks past him and puts her hand on his shoulder, just for a second, nodding at him. He thinks there may be a little shine in her eyes, but he could be wrong. He nods back.

As she walks off to join Nickens and Jisera at one of the terminals, Vok surveys the cargo bay. The artifacts they just recovered sit in a haphazard pile next to their Atlas, with the curator, Angelica, standing next to it, hugging herself. Her eyes are on the now closed up hatch, like she hasn’t yet processed the enormity that happened in the past few minutes.

Volor is standing off to the side with Diana, running his omni-tool up and down the length of her, probably checking her for injuries. He tries not to be insulted by that. Knowing the Salarian, he’s running on instinct and training, not because he thinks Vok could have screwed up again. Plus, if she sprained her ankle jumping off the crumbling ledge or got some other injury due to her inborn human frailty, it’s really not his fault, is it?

He doesn’t have to wonder for long, as Volor quickly nods and smiles, then gently takes Diana’s arm and walks over to Nickens, Jisera, and Milovea.

Well. They got half of the stuff they wanted, but they also got the curator, whose knowledge should more than make up for the things they didn’t get. All in all, not the worst mission he’s been part of. Not the worst at all. He grunts contently to himself, then makes his way over to the others, curious what they’re looking at on the screens.