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EpilogueEdit

It was a rare, clear day on Zak'kon when James Skinner declared war on the galaxy. He knew Arcturus Station would be on its artificial night cycle, and so he decided to call upon one Admiral Emil Gargosh. He calmly manipulated the Pantaphon's interface, and waited patiently for the admiral to pick up his phone.

A minute later, the admiral appeared on screen. Skinner had hoped to wake him up, to catch him off-guard, but his disappointment was minor. "Admiral," he said by way of greeting.

The admiral gave him an easy smile, as though they were old friends. "Commander Skinner. I was wondering when I'd hear from you. Your good friend Cmdr. Sharon will be so pleased to hear your alive."

"I doubt she really cares."

"To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?"

The bastard's too calm, Skinner thought. I need to jolt him. "Call it curiosity, Emil."

"Curiosity?"

"Indeed. I wanted to see what kind of pathetic excuse for a man would drive Capt. Beauclaire to lesbianism. Having seen you, I think I now understand."

A twitch of anger appeared on Gargosh's face, disappearing as quickly as it appeared. "It would seem that word of my... marital issues has travelled farther than I ever imagined. Ah well. Such are the times, I suppose. Is that all?"

"No. I imagine that, honest soldier that she is, Cmdr. Sharon's already told you what she and her little asari pet found here."

"Yes. The Pantaphon. I'm very eager to see it for myself."

"That won't be happening."

"Oh really?"

"You will leave the Pantaphon alone."

"And why would I do that?"

"Because the Matriarch stored all of her dirty little secrets in the Pantaphon's memory banks. Once I figured out how to access them, I found all sorts of amazing things, including the dossiers that had been so helpfully compiled to assist the Matriarch in deciding which Alliance soldiers she would sacrifice in pursuit of her grand plans.

"I am very good with computers, Emil, so it took me very little effort to determine that the Matriarch had gotten these dossiers from someone high up in the Alliance Navy. Someone like you."

This elicited another tick. "You can't prove that."

"I looked at all the dossiers. The likelihood of the Matriarch managing to buy Capt. Thomas Anderson or Cmdr. Shepard was very small. You stacked the deck to make sure that Sharon would be one of the sacrificed."

Gargosh's facade was starting to crack. "You really believe I committed treason just to get revenge on Cmdr. Sharon?"

"No. You were also hoping to get control of the Pantaphon."

"Let's say that I did slip some names to the Matriarch. You're the cold, calculating type. Surely you would understand that a few Alliance soldiers would be a small sacrifice to gain access to such a powerful device?"

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