Talia loved watching Taro at work. Isogi wasn't a businessman, he was an artisan. He weaved words and feelings into a tapestry of logic that overwhelmed anyone he talked to. The impossible was made possible; the improbable became a matter of straightforward fact.
Yet his skill wasn't why she loved to see Isogi negotiate. Telepaths learned from a very young age that people cannot be trusted; it's ostracizing to know what people truly think. The parents of latent telepaths regularly get the first hints of their child's gift when their infant bursts into tears after the gift of a present from Santa. Her own parents got their clue after her pet gerbil “ran away.”
Human society is predicated upon a collection of polite lies.
But in spite of that Isogi did not lie. Not once. Not ever. The man was scrupulously truthful. It was astonishing how something so simple was so entirely rare. This in turn only made his outrageous plans that more thrilling: “Mars has resources the aliens need. Now they, in turn, can supply an economic base that will enable the colony to become self-sufficient in ten years. You can win your independence without bloodshed.”
Miss Carter chewed her lip in frustration, “It will be a hard sell with the committee. They'll need concrete assurances from the alien worlds.”
Isogi politely looked to Talia for her opinion on the matter. The man was practically a mind reader himself; she could swear that she was unnecessary for confirmation of what she knew. Talia expounded upon Isogi's suspicions: “Not entirely true. You're pretty sure the committee will accept your recommendation, and you're the one who needs the assurances.”
“Yes I do, Miss Winters,” Miss Carter's mind flashed with frustration at having her mind read so overtly as she snapped, “Mars is being ripped apart at the seams right now. And before I bargain with its future, I need to know exactly whats expected of us.”
Isogi waved his hand in a wide circle, gesturing to everything around him, “Naturally. That's one of the reasons why I suggested Babylon 5 for this meeting. All our prospective partners have representatives here, and we can iron out all the details satisfactorily.”
Miss Carter shook her head incredulously in exasperation, contrastingly with the waves of amused satisfaction coming from her mind, “You actually believe you can make this work?”
“No,” Isogi pronounced in a soft but meaningful voice, “but I believe we can try.”
Miss Carter smiled and shoved the remainder of her printouts into her suitcase, “I'll speak with the business affairs committee. I think I can have an answer for you by tomorrow afternoon.”
“Very good.” Knowing that Taro would consider it bad manners to do otherwise, Talia stood up at the same time as Miss Carter and walked with the two of them to the door. The Mars representative, eager to be away from Talia, did not tarry long. After a few polite handshakes the door hissed shut.
Talia smiled at Taro's inquisitive look, knowing all too well that Taro knew the result before she spoke, “She likes the idea. She has her doubts but she basically likes it.”
Taro chuckled paternally, “And you? Now that you've heard the details of my little plan, do you also have your doubts?”
“Frankly, yes,” Talia interpolated nervously. She wouldn't ever consider questioning him in a negotiation but parts of his plan for Mars' independence were outrageous, “The financial risk is bad enough, but the legal maneuvering will be even-"
Taro raised his hand to silence her. Firm but politely he said, “I want to hear them.” He smiled warmly, “Over dinner.”
Talia laughed, “I'd love to.”
David's eyes ached. Dex had kept him working for twelve hours straight before he'd been able to sneak off to Nor's hospital, only to be barred at the door by Nor with a hasty warning not to walk in. Bona had apparently opened her eyes for a few lucid moments and was with her parents for the moment in case it happened again. It had taken every ounce of self control to walk away from Bonafila, but angering Lord Enzo would potentially bar him from going near Bonafila to give her future treatments.
She'd opened her eyes. This called for a celebration.
It was night by the ship's clock when he reached home, too late to wake his father's cook. Nevertheless, he still planned to make a night of it. He loaded up a plate with pickles, cheese, and fresh fruit next to a thick loaf of brown bread, balancing it on a tray with borrowed pitcher of beer as he made his way to the eastern study. His mother would have skinned him alive for carrying the food down the hall without a tray, provided the Lady Sáclair didn't get to him first.
Not that there was much of a chance she'd catch him. It was night, and night meant that one or more of the concubines would be seeing to his father's needs. With the Lady Sáclair indisposed for the Lord's more active recreations by her intense gravity, his mother spent most of her time in the Lord's bed. No reason to risk the Lord's heir.
“No reason to risk his real son,” David muttered bitterly. He liked the Lady Sáclair, he supposed, but David couldn't ever forgive her for being his father's wife. Logically, he knew that it wasn't her fault that his father fell in love with his mother after a marriage of convenience. He could remember his mother telling him as a child how Sáclair had come to her to find the love he couldn't find in a woman of noble blood, a woman who married for status. He'd sought her out after the Lady Sáclair's still birth thirty years ago. While Sáclair's other concubines were just dalliances that resulted in offspring, David knew that Sáclair loved his mother deeply.
It almost made up for Sáclair not loving him as much as he would love his true son, but only almost. A proud tapestry of his father standing on top of a shining moon leered down at him as he fumbled with the latch to the eastern study, “Open up you stubborn...”
David hopped on one foot, barely managing not to spill his meal over the floor as the door opened inward. Righting the tray, he scuttled over to a low table and plush sofa. With a satisfied “oof” of relief, he melted into the chair and stared in anticipatory glee at the far wall. A mirrored sheet of glass three meters wide and two meters tall concealed a tactical hololith, repurposed some three generations back by his great uncle.(twice removed) Instead of battle plans, the device had been programmed with a library of historical and fictional holo-dramas collected over centuries.
He took a swig of beer from the pitcher and was fumbling with the control for the hololith when the door opened and the soft footsteps of slippered feet stormed towards him. Irrationally fearing that it was the Lady Sáclair, he stood up and yelled, “I brought the food on a tray!” in a pre-emptive attempt to stop the hormonal rage.
However, while it was a Lady Sáclair, it was not 'the' Lady Sáclair. Ami, clothed in an uncharacteristically short dress that left substantially little to the imagination, stood behind the sofa with sleep-ruffled hair and a look of wild amusement on her face.
“I can see that,” his sister snorted, suppressing fits of giggles behind her hand. She swallowed in an effort to quell her amusement, but burst into a second fit of laughter, “Throne David, your face... it was priceless. A tray? As though it the tray would be what angered her.”
“Uuuhh,” David stammered. The Lady Sáclair had recently demanded that it not be used in a fit of hormonal pique, claiming something about her fearing the noise might agitate the child inside her. But he wasn't about to let the bloated hag ruin his celebration, especially considering that the room was wholly noise proofed and signal-dead to prevent eavesdropping. Ami would not be especially receptive to that way of thinking, however. “Come on Ami. She won't hear it.”
“That's not the point David,” Ami shook her head, “I'm worried about you. You're not yourself.”
“Come on, Ami, cut me some slack alright,” David sighed. “This hasn't been a good time for me. What with the battles and...”
Ami poked his sternum angrily. “David Sáclair, don't you dare try that on me! I know better.”
“What?” David blinked in confusion, “I don't understand what you're-”
“David, I'm not stupid. I'm not Carran or Arda but I'm not stupid, no matter what people might say about me,” Ami said, crossing her arms angrily. “You've missed ten of your scheduled tutoring sessions in High Gothic. Lord Sácomer says you've stopped asking him questions about ship's systems entirely, and almost all of your training has turned into one long discussion of security measures on the ship. You aren't even trying to figure out how to become an officer any more.”
David forced his voice to sound dismissive as his heart leapt up between his ears, trying to escape through his mouth, “Ami people just... deal with things differently....I wanted a change.”
“David, there's change and there's outright stupidity,” Ami puffed her cheeks in annoyance. “How could you do this to Bonafila?”
David's blood ran cold. How could she know? How could anyone know? Damnit, he hadn't been careful enough. A terrible vision of strangling his sister to death to protect the secret ran through his head, more nightmarish for its lingering appeal than its violence. “Ami, I don't know what you think you know.... but it's not what you think.”
“How can you be cheating on her! How can you be cheating on Bonafila?” Ami snarled. “It has to stop before she gets back on her feet.”
David's attempts to fabricate an excuse for his heresy stopped flat footed as he tried to figure out exactly what she was talking about. In a voice of stunned credulity he repeated, “Cheating on Bonafila?”
“Don't you try that on me, mister. I know the look of a man with a secret and Arda isn't the only one who can find things out.” She pulled a video still out from her dress, though Throne alone knew where she'd been keeping it, and brandished the still in his face. She pointed with a jewel-set fingernail at the figures in it. “You checked into the hospital with her after you had an allergic reaction to something or another; they sent a request for payment last week.”
Stenatoda! She'd found a photo of him with Stenatoda. The bitch had used his real name when she'd checked him in to make sure he was tied to them. “Ami it's not what you...”
“Flox poisoning, David. I know what that means. I know how you get exposed to it, and what its a side effect from,” She shook her head, “I understand needing a release, David, but you've overdosed on euphoria once already.”
“Ami, I wasn't sleeping with her,” David protested impotently. “She was just a friend.”
“David, don't waste your time pretending,” Ami sighed, “You don't do euphoria with someone who is “just a friend.” And you damn well don't go looking for a woman dressed like that unless you're planning to misbehave.”
Taking a swing of his beer and reaching for the remote, David tried to get his night back on track, “Look, you haven't got a clue what you're talking about Ami.”
His half sister grabbed the control before he could and held it behind her, asking suspiciously, “Fine then David. Tell me her name?”
“Uh... well... I...” David didn't know her name, and an obvious code name wouldn't help his case any.
Ami shook her head disappointedly, “That's what I thought. Throne, David, you need to stop this now!”
“It's more complicated than that,” David munched despondently on a pickle. “You... you just don't get it.”
“No I don't,” Ami pleaded, “So help me David. Help me try to understand what is going through your head right now. You've apparently been seen in the company of no less than fifteen women in various places on the ship, all of whom were in intimate situations with you. What is this? You can't have Bonafila so you have to have every other woman?”
“No...I'm doing it for....” What was he supposed to say? That he was doing it for Bonafila's welfare? That the only thing separating her from death was his betrayal of everyone he knew and loved? Ami wouldn't accept delivering orders for the Amon Sui as a reason for him to be in intimate quarters with so many women. In truth, some of them had offered themselves to him, a perk some of the Amon Sui women offered to their co-consipirators as a reward for continued faith, even though he hadn't accepted. But Ami needed a comfortable lie, not the truth: “I... I don't know why I'm doing it...”
“It isn't fair to her David,” Ami sighed, “It isn't any more fair to her that it is for my father to call your mother to his bed on a whim or to send her away.”
“You bitch!” David stood up, waving his pickle like a weapon, “Our father loves my mother!”
“Did I say he doesn't?” Ami sighed in a voice of forced calm, “But he chooses who do go to, and when. He chooses which of our mothers he wants at that moment, dismissing those who are inconvenient or ill. And we both hate it.”
Tears welled in her eyes and her voice broke with emotion, “It... it isn't fair to her that you can just dismiss her or entertain yourself with any woman you want in the meanwhile. She's my friend, David. It isn't fair that you can do this to her. That you can just use her.”
David walked over to her and hugged her as she cried into his shirt. He couldn't bear to see one of his sisters in pain. “Ami... it's OK! Please stop crying.”
“It's not OK,” her lips quivered, “It's not OK. Just.... just promise me you won't use my friend. Promise me.”
David, entirely baffled by the train of conversation, hugged her close and looked her in tear soaked eyes before announcing: “Ami, I have never loved a woman the way I've loved Bonafila. She is the light of my life. I promise you I will never do anything to hurt her again.”
Ami sniffled a bit, but nodded, “Ok.”
“Ok. Now I'm going to watch something pointlessly violent, drink my beer, eat, and celebrate,” David said, wiping the tears from Ami's cheeks with his pocket handkerchief, “Because today is a day to be happy, not sad. We're alive. Bonafila is getting better. All is well with the universe. You can join me if you wish.”
“Ok,” Ami flopped down into the sofa and offered the remote, “But I want to watch something with Space Marines.”
David smiled. “You read my mind.”
“You're quite certain that this device can produce the power output I require? One that has not been touched by the hands of xenos?” Kerrigan towered over the shopkeep, a portly woman from the Alliance home world, “It is an issue of religious purity. We would not consider installing an machine made by unclean hands.”
“Ma'am, my stuff was made in the USA. Good old fashioned elbow grease, and some General Electric know-how are what made this,” she smiled in apparent approval of Kerrigan's request. “It'll power a Starfury, I guarantee it.”
“Good! Have four of them sent to the Imperial bay.” Kerrigan pulled four sizable gold coins set with thumb sized rubies from her purse, saying “I presume this will be sufficient payment.”
“Jesus, lady? Are those things freaking real?” The woman drooled at the sight of the gems. “Tell you what, I'll toss in a couple of antigrav loaders for free.”
“That should be acceptable,” Kerrigan nodded to her guards. “Come. I have more parts I require from other shops.”
Freed of Mr. Garibaldi's exile on the condition that she neither harass the xenos nor attempt to modify any systems, Kerrigan had taken to wandering the station in the wee hours of the station's time. She did not require sleep except for the direst of injuries, giving ample time to explore. Provided, of course, that she agree to be accompanied by a bodyguard.
Kerrigan adored the Babylon station, heresy though it was to say so. The Alliance station was entirely unpretentious, almost innocent, corrupted horribly by virtue of their humanity. The Alliance security officers assigned to “keep her out of trouble” still had the weight in their cheeks that could only come from generations of easy living. They held all the bluster of soldiers but none of the humility that came from actually participating in battle.
Admittedly, her relaxation was greatly aided by the plasma syphon concealed on her person. Anyone who tried to use an energy weapon within ten paces of her would fire wildly off course as their shot dissolved under the curious sciences of the Ulmethii. It was easier to appreciate dangerous men when they were no danger to one's person.
However, the most shameful joy she got from the station was her proximity to so many xenos without having to go through normal channels. Kerrigan's true love was the study of xenotech sciences, and until her exile from her position on the Oita Forge World she'd been the world's pre-eminent scholar of xenology and xenobiology. It was a necessary study for the Imperium, but primarily a tactical one. The Administratum wanted to know how to defeat xenos races; learning from them was purely coincidental. Their technology had to be vetted, tested, and probed by every Forge World from Mars to Ryza before it would even be considered as an acceptable technology.
The Adeptus Mechanicus were, by and large, content to accept that xenos-created technologies were impure, and thus unusable. Unfortunately for her, Kerrigan was a woman beholden to logic. It made no sense to her that the Omnissiah, a god of knowledge and learning, would arbitrarily come to the conclusion that Imperial technology ought to be inefficient.
If the Tau had learned how to create plasma weaponry that did not explode, it was a betrayal of the Omnissiah's message to not learn its secrets for the betterment of the Imperium. She created a prototype using a reverse-engineered version of the pulse rifle, only to be exiled for her trouble.
Had the rifle not been designed for Inquisitor Daul Hilder, they would have made her into a servitor. She owed her life to him. This second exile was a small price to pay for his survival, considering the perks.
“Ma'am,” Mr. Zack Allan interrupted her introspection worriedly, “you might want to get moving.”
“No, thank you officer,” Kerrigan perused a display of historical dramas depicting the history of Earth, trying to decide which of them would be the best to start learning their history from. So many of the holo-dramas seemed to contradict the historical records that she was beginning to wonder if the actors even read them. “I have more items that I need to purchase before I retire.”
“I'm sure you do, ma'am, but I'm pretty sure I see... damn, she's coming over here,” the Marine groaned. “Don't say I didn't warn you ma'am.”
Kerrigan looked over her shoulder at the person Mr. Zack Allan was scrupulously trying to avoid catching the eye of, a severe looking white haired woman in a green suit emblazoned with the letters “ISN.” The woman was followed by a small cadre of men shouldering thick black devices with glass lenses on the front, presumably cameras. “Should I know her?”
“Merciful Christ, she's seen you,” Private Clémont sighed. “Why in hell didn't anyone tell us there would be one on station?”
Kerrigan pinched the bridge of her nose, “Will one of you please explain what you're blathering about?”
The woman, brandishing a black baton with a bit of foam on the end, walked across the hall and directly to Kerrigan without preamble. Her cadre of men with their curious devices followed her silently, capturing her image from every possible angle in an astonishing display of vainglory.
“Lady Kerrigan, the people of Earth would like a word with you.” Damn, the woman was doubtless some sort of Alliance royalty. She likely wasn't the good kind either, as few competent rulers were so vapid as to refer to themselves in the third person.
“I am busy at the moment.” Kerrigan picked up a data chip from the stall next to her, examining it with a probing mechandrite. One of the nobewoman's cadre focused on her probe in obvious interest. Kerrigan ignored it; no reason to get the fool whipped for losing focus. “Is this pressing?”
“The truth is always pressing Lady Kerrigan,” the woman continued, unabashed. “We have many questions for you.”
“It is Magos Frist. I do not know you well enough for you to take that liberty.” Kerrigan lifted herself off the ground with her mechandrites, adding another half meter to her height and the distinct impression that she was floating above the noblewoman. “Ask your questions so that I may be rid of you. I will answer all that do not violate the law or my conscience.”
“Magos Kerrigan,” the woman swallowed nervously, unaccustomed to this level of proximity to an augmentically altered person. However foppish she was, the woman had backbone. “The arrival of the Endless Bounty has caused an uproar in the past three months. Your nation joined the Leauge of Non-Aligned worlds in record time after first contact. But we know so little about you as a people: first and foremost, am I correct in saying that you are genetically human?”
“Yes,” Kerrigan sighed, annoyed at so obvious a conversation. “Your own doctors confirmed that beyond the shadow of a doubt. We are human.”
“I hope you don't take this the wrong way... but you don't exactly look like any human I know,” the woman politely jibed.
“I've had some upgrades installed for the purposes of improved functionality,” Kerrigan laughed mechanically, “but there are a few bits of human here and there.”
“Fascinating, we haven't gotten the hang of that yet, I'm afraid.” The woman pulled a device out of her bag. The device, obviously some sort of pict-corder, showed a small video of the Ogryn Galut protecting infants from demonic incursion. “And this man? Is he human as well?”
“I'd wondered how he'd managed to get those scars,” Kerrigan said with interest, taking the device with one of her tentacles. “The boy had more fight in him than I'd realized. I'd though Cairn had lost his mind when he paid a hundred thrones for him.”
“Paid,” the woman interposed in confusion, “He's a slave?”
“Of course he is. He's an Ogryn.” Kerrigan nodded, “Though 'indentured servant' is a closer translation. Galut is an... the word we use doesn't translate well... 'near human' …'altered human' ...no, 'abhuman.' He is genetically similar, however due to genetic modification and natural evolution he is disparate enough that the people from his home world can no longer breed with pure-blood humans.”
“And there are other 'abhumans' in the empire?” She pulled out a photo of Vira'capac sharing a meal with the pak'ma'ra, asking “Ones who do not share the physical similarities?”
“No,” Kerrigan laughed, “The Kroot is most decidedly not human... at all. But there are numerous abhumans in the Empire.”
“And are they all slaves?” Her eyes narrowed suspiciously. Ah, now the woman's fear made sense. She was afraid that the genetic variations of the Alliance would condemn them to slavery. There was no need to frighten the woman of the coming Imperium; it was best to help her look forward to it.
“Of course not,” Kerrigan shook her head, “The Imperium is just too large for any one type of abuhuman to be universally anything. Galut is one of many Ogryn; what applies to him is not universal. The Navigators are in a place of esteem, since we could not travel the stars without them.”
“One of them was part of the initial greeting party,” the woman nodded pensively, “The one with three eyes.”
“Yes, that was Navigator Zorn Calven,” Kerrigan raised her hand, willing a small hologram of him into life. It spun in place with a lifelike imitation of the man's insufferable sneer as she continued, “They are the ones capable of seeing the currents of the warp. They are the ones who make space travel possible.”
“The warp,” the woman nodded eagerly, “The alternative to hyperspace your people use. Yes, tell us about that.”
“I apologize madam,” Kerrigan sighed, “But that is not information I will share with just anyone. Even a the simplest forays into warp science can, and do, result in disaster without proper caution.”
“Disaster like what happened on Babylon 5 you mean,” The woman asserted, “There are certain people who are questioning if the timing of this so called “daemon” attack was more than a co-incidence. It has even been implied that the imperials had something to do with unleashing it.”
“Preposterous,” Kerrigan laughed at the very idea of it, “The Inquisitor does not consort with demons, nor does he summon them for his own purposes.”
“Then why did the Vorlon confront him after the fact?” The woman pressed the baton towards Kerrigan's face, asking imperiously, “How did you destroy two Vorlon warships?”
“I have no intention of...” Kerrigan trailed off, staring at a blonde man weaving his way through the crowd. Her eyes, modified years ago with augmentic upgrades, saw what no other mortal could: a fine halo of energies that could only be associated with concealed augmentic weapons, “I apologize, but you're quite sure that Alliance human's don't have augmentic machines installed the way I do?”
“Positive,” the woman smiled incredulously, “Magos, you didn't answer my question.”
“Be silent, you fool,” Kerrigan hissed, “I don't want him to know that I've seen him.” Kerrigan brushed past the woman, tapping her finger on her lips for silence. The security officers, wary of her aggressive posture, followed her closely and reached for their side arms.
“Kerrigan,” Mr. Zack Allan hissed plaintively, “What are you doing? She isn't going to just stop following you because you confused her.”
“Mr. Zack Allan,” Kerrigan hissed in a quiet whisper, “I am correct in my assumption that someone sneaking military grade weapons on to your station merits your interest?”
“Damn,” the officer unholstered his pistol, “Where is he?”
“Not sure... no, wait,” Kerrigan stopped at the end of a hall, using her enhanced augmentic senses to listen for the cyborg. However the only sounds she heard were of an amused human couple walking arm in arm down the hall.
“I've never seen you so excited about a deal before,” the woman laughed amusedly as Kerrigan placed a name with the face. It was the station's sanctioned psycher, Talia Winters.
Her date, a man of middle age chortled, “It's not just a deal Talia. It's a step into the future. Mars can be the beginning of a whole new life for the human species. It's as it was meant to be.”
Kerrigan hissed “now” and sprinted down the corridor as she heard a third set of footsteps moving from the shadows of an alcove. The tall, blonde cyborg approached the couple deliberately and stared into the man's eyes with pure hatred. He screeched in a hoarse whisper, “Free Mars!”
His hand covered in a coruscating blue lightning as he reached out to grab the man. Before Kerrigan could close the distance and grab him Miss Winters tossed herself between the man and his attacker, taking a lethal blast of lightning to the chest. Blue bolts of energy cascaded across her body, twisting and crackling in absolute lethality.
Kerrigan wasn't sure if the woman or her attacker was more surprised when the crackling energies siphoned into the blood red stone between the woman's breasts, leaving her shirt in tattered scraps but the woman otherwise none the worse for her troubles. The woman screamed and in a purplish haze of psychic discharge heaved the man into the wall.
“Security! Stand down!” Mr Allan unholstered his weapon, searching for a clean shot at the woman's attacker but finding none, “Come on, come on, I just need a shot. Get out of the way Talia!”
“Talia!” the man bellowed in apparent terror for his companion's wellbeing as the cyborg flipped to his feet and lunged for the woman again, brandishing a knife in his hand. The woman grabbed the man's hand at the wrist, freezing him in place with a telepathic suggestion.
Kerrigan bounded across the hall, ducking into a roll to come up behind the cyborg. Powerful augmentic tendrils wrapped around the cyborg, binding him and pulling him from the woman. No longer in direct contact with his telepathic opponent, the cyborg attempted to fight for his freedom. Blue bolts of lightning dissipated harmlessly on her insulated augmentics.
Sick of the creature, Kerrigan punched through it's chest and tore out the creature's heart, then twisted her mechandrites and broke the arms and legs for good measure. The discarded corpse spurted a thick puddle of blood as it collapsed to the floor as she muttered, “Disgusting thing.”
She noticed with some surprise that the noblewoman had apparently chosen to follow them rather than shy from the battle. She turned to her cadre, panting and bent over from the effort of running in her high-heeled shoes, “You got that, right? Tell me you got that?”
Miss Talia Winters groaned in frustration from the deck before sitting upright and ashamedly covering her chest. A hand print had been burned through her clothing down to the naked skin of her chest, but her skin was impossibly unburned and unscarred.
After having called in the incident to security, Mr. Zack Allan bent down next to Miss Winters, taking the black and white checkered cowl offered to him by Kerrigan to cover her modesty. “You OK, Talia?”
“I... I think I'm fine,” Talia looked at her companion in bewilderment. “I'm totally fine.”
“That you are alive at all is wildly improbable,” The Miss Winter's companion companion hugged her tightly to his chest, “But he should not have gotten this far at all with those weapons. It is inexcusable.”
“Look, I feel your pain,” Officer Allan sighed exasperatedly as he holstered his weapon and helped Talia to her feet. He nodded to a small cadre of security officers who arrived to secure the scene, saying “I didn't even know that someone could hide a lightning rod in their arm. We search everybody on station for what we can. Sometimes they get through the net; I'm just glad we caught this one. ”
“Then we shall have to amend that,” Kerrigan fished about in the creature's innards, examining the circuitry within. It was a hack job if ever she saw one, the sort of work one got from relying upon backwater Mechanicus washouts and technological autodidacts. Every component designed to work in the short term, and even then not particularly well. Annoyed, she muttered “I won't allow those of us exiled to the station to be endangered by naive Luddites. Honestly, not catching a cyborg at the door? How you haven't been conquered already is a mystery.”
The noblewoman pointed the baton at her again, prompting Kerrigan to briefly entertain fantasies of making her eat it in punishment for her rudeness, “What do you plan to do in order to “amend it,” Magos?”
“By upgrading the station, obviously,” The Magos shook her head in disgust, “Now go away, you supremely irritating woman. I have to go meet with Captain Sheridan.”
The woman moved out of the Mago's way as she waved a blood stained augmentic claw at her, but would not be assuaged from her inquisition, “What do you think of the Captain’s duties on Babylon 5 in the light of his apparent failures as of late.”
Kerrigan shouted over her shoulder as Mr. Allan barred the noblewoman from following them into the lift, “I think that anyone who views slaying a demon and surviving invasion as a failure has taken leave of their senses.”