Mass Effect: Earthborn

Based on the popular Mass Effect universe, this story begins 2169 where it follows the series protagonist, Commander Shepard, during her years in the ghetto of New York City, before she joined the Alliance. It details how a 15 year old Shepard navigates her difficult life, dealing with school, love, her friends and her affiliation with the 10th Street Reds gang.

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4. The Solution

 

Chapter #04

The Solution

 

 

 

 

 

1.39 p.m., September 14th, 2169

Hansen & Co. Storage, New York City.

 

The solution turned out to be simple.

I had initially thought about hollowing out a part of the wall in my room behind the wardrobe, but that would’ve taken too long and there was too many ways that someone could discover it before I was finished or while I was working on it.

After that, I thought about stashing the Viper in one of the 10th Street Reds’ ‘safe houses’, but then I remembered that most were a bunch of kleptos that I wouldn’t trust with a pair of shoes.

My school locker was obviously a no-go since I would have to go to the school every time I needed it.

Then an obvious solution hit me: a storage unit. Guaranteed privacy and if the guaranteed privacy thing turned out to be untrue, there were bound to be someone who had stored worse shit than me.

That was the reason for why I was here. Hansen & Co. Storage was a local business that was owned by Henry Hansen and his son Thomas Hansen. An old 10 story building that wasn’t worth much because of its location, and for the same reason, no one wanted to use it for office space. So the Hansens bought the building, renovated it and turned it into storage units.

I took a look around the lobby as I walked in: no windows and no security cameras, in other words it was a ‘don’t as don’t tell’ kind of place.

There wasn’t much to the place. There was one front desk with and there was a door behind it that probably leads into the back, and finally there was an elevator next to the desk.

Behind the desk at the time, was some guy in his 20s who was wearing typical blue-collar clothes.

He looked up from his datapad once, then looked back into it and uttered a very well-rehearsed sales speech: “Welcome to Hansen & Co. Storage, we offer pristine storage units for pristine prices.” He then cast a second look at me and put his datapad down.

“What kind of services do you provide here?” I asked.

“Well, our units are constantly ventilated and kept at room temperature. The dimensions are four by six yards with a height of four yards” he said while giving me the elevator look, and judging from his expression, he liked what he saw. I let a small smile and a little blush stand out as I stroked some hair behind my ear.

“How much do they cost?” I asked.

“Depends on what you’re looking for; something long- or short term?”

“Long term” I answered and leaned in over the counter. The name-tag said Charlie, and as I looked over him again, I realized that he wasn’t bad looking.

“Well, then we have a payment plan that covers six months at a time and costs 500 credits per six months.”

“Sounds perfect. Can I see one?” I asked while stretching my arms in front of me so my cleavage was revealed to him.

“Sure, just this way Miss” he said as he walked over to the elevator and swiped an access panel with his omni-tool.

“Are there other security measures than that access panel?” I asked while we rode the elevator to the fourth floor.

He was well over a head taller than me, so he stared down at me while answering. “While there are no security cameras in the lobby, there are cameras on every floor. Other than that, there is no security, though you are welcome to put up security measures in the unit if you so desire.”

As we reached the fourth floor, we quickly walked to an empty unit. The door was red and the only things that were on the inside were two lamps, a light switch and a metal table.

As I walked around the room, Charlie was leaning up against the wall.

“Perhaps I should mention that we are required to keep a record of who rents our units, so you will need to show me some photo ID and you need to be over 18” he said with a little smile, knowing full well that I came here so I wouldn’t have to show ID, and so age wouldn’t be an issue.

I went to sit on the table. “Is that necessary?” I asked while smiling again, glad that I had put on a red lipstick from the morning.

“I’m afraid so Miss” Charlie said with smugness about him as he walked towards me.

“Are you sure that we can’t come to some agreement, Charlie?” I asked and smiled again. He was now only a foot away from me.

His hand reached for my face, and very softly, he caressed my upper lip with his thumb. “You have very pretty lips.”

I had seen this coming from a mile away, so I lifted one eyebrow, smiled and slowly went down on my knees before him.

An hour later, both Charlie and I had a smile on our lips as I walked out of Hansen & Co. Storage with the security key for the elevator and for storage unit 425.

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