This page contains a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the events that take place in the story Mass Effect: Digression.
A young quarian female named Elli'Neda nar Geddes wakes up aboard the Migrant Fleet vessel Lerta to find Yalo'Pala nar Lerta --the object of her affection-- standing at the window gazing out at the stars. Yalo is due to go out on his Pilgrimage in a few hours time, and the two of them had recently made love prior to his leaving. When asked about his thoughts he speaks of the injustice and plight of the quarian people, and how they have drifted amongst the stars too long. He tells Elli that they've grown complacent and that it's their own fault they're still without a planet to live on. He also believes too many of their people go out on their Pilgrimage and bring gifts back that he feels are barely worthy of notice or of any true value to them. Swearing that he isn't going to do the same, he tells Elli that he plans to bring back a gift that will change their people forever. Elli says she wishes they could go on their Pilgrimage together, but Yalo tells her that she can't go with him, because he doesn't want her to be linked to him and what he plans to do. A confused Elli wonders why and he explains that while his gift is intended to help the quarians, he's going to be hated by them for it, and branded a traitor.
The Lerta's captain, Jinn'Pala vas Lerta, greets Yalo and bids him farewell and good luck, but not before wondering why he can't see his son's face. Yalo explains that he had his visor doubled in thickness for a precaution. His father worries that his son may be getting himself intentionally into trouble, to which Yalo answers, "I will do what I must to accomplish my task ahead, whether it put me in danger or not." Yalo then visits his mother in the docking bay, who has an additional gift for him: a special, highly modded omni-tool that was once owned by his sister, Linna. At first he refuses it, but his mother insists.Yalo then recalls the time his sister and he had spent together in the past, and the events that lead to her untimely demise.
He and Linna had been very close, and she had wanted more than anything to help her people, and had been largely responsible for his own views on things. She had left on her own Pilgrimage and he had missed her very much during her absence, but eventually got used to the fact and concentrated in following in her footsteps. When she eventually returned she had helped a group of salarian scientists and not only gained a lot of experience and their respect, but the means of creating a more efficient and stable air filter that would benefit the whole fleet. Linna then joined the crew of the Rodus, one of the Flotilla's less stable ships. Their father had thought she deserved a better ship given her gift, but she was pleased she was on a ship she could feel helpful on. After only three days aboard the Rodus, Linna was unfortunately caught in a pressure-induced explosion that severely damaged her suit and exposed her directly to unclean air. Before succumbing to the pain and exposure, she managed to stop things from getting any worse, but at the cost of her own life. This left Yalo devastated and bitter and he thought back to a time before she had left on her journey where she had been uncharacteristically crying and she had told him she felt their people were dying and something had to be done. Ever since her death and thinking back on her words then, Yalo had vowed to do whatever he could to save the quarian race.
After saying goodbye to his mother, Yalo leaves aboard his new shuttle, The Spero, and heads off on his journey, hoping his sister will understand his road ahead.
Before embarking on the first part of his quest, which involves gathering credits, Yalo briefly stops off on the planet Elysiala to see what being on a large planet with an open sky is like. This just makes such a vast, open space with no inhabitants on it seem like an insult to him, as he thinks of how his people are stuck on ships while there must be thousands of worlds out there just going to waste.
After this Yalo decides that becoming a mercenary is the quickest and easiest manner to gain credits, but worries about his actions as a merc possibly breaking the rules of the Pilgrimage, which state that a gift must be attained without harming another. Part of him wonders if it matter though, considering what he has planned in the end anyway. In either case, he purposefully takes jobs that are largely of a non-violent nature, dealing more with protection and security than related to directly to violent crimes. He makes a decent amount of credits in just over a month working as a merc, with almost no violent encounters the whole time.
Eventually Yalo finds himself on the planet Tieronus in a bar owned by a volus named Talan Jol, which becomes his home away from home. While there he sees a bulletin come in regarding a salarian scientist who has been recently kidnapped by a group of krogan mercs, and the offer of a million credit reward for anybody who can find him. Thinking that the credits that he's been earning, while substantial, aren't enough to help him reach his goal quickly, Yalo decides to pursue this and try and find the scientist. With going to The Citadel to find information out of the question after the recent geth attack only a few weeks ago, Yalo decides the next best place to look would be the turian homeworld of Palaven.
Upon arriving at Palaven, Yalo has to deal with security holding him up and preventing him from going beyond their customs with an omni-tool or any weapons. The turian guard reluctantly agrees to allow Yalo to view some of their archives, but only to a limited extent, with Yalo claiming that he's looking for information on the recent geth activity in Citadel Space. While he is under guard Yalo pretends to look for information on the geth, while secretly trying to find info related to the salarian abduction. When he discovers his security clearance isn't high enough, he asks the turian with him to give him more. When the turian approaches but still refuses, Yalo jabs him with a small needled-vial containing an amino acid-based substance that produces an allergic reaction in the guard, making him fall unconscious. Finding the information he needed quickly using a second concealed omni-tool, Yalo discovers that the kidnapping wasn't an isolated incident, and that more scientists had recently been taken by krogan over the past few weeks. Reviving the turian guard with an antidote vial, Yalo tells him that he just fell unconscious and suggests it was probably something he ate. Telling the guard he is done anyway, he leaves Palaven for his next destination.
Deep in the Terminus Systems, on the planet Iolciom, a salarian scientist named Kriost Palmera runs for his life from a tough krogan mercenary, Intarr. The krogan guns him down and tells him that there was no way he'd be able to escape him anyway. When Palmera asks the krogan to finish the job, Intarr says that given the trouble that he's caused him, he'd rather let him die slowly. Intarr doesn't get his wish as a shot rings out from the shadows to end the salarian's suffering, and out steps Yalo. With their guns trained on each other, Yalo Overloads Intarr's assault rifle telling him that it's cruel to let somebody suffer needlessly. After exchanging a few insults, Intarr decides he likes Yalo and that he thinks he has guts to insult a krogan to the face like that. When asking why he is there, Yalo tells him that he's in search of a salarian scientist, and how he tracked the krogan kidnappers to Iolciom. Yalo notes that Palmera doesn't match the appearance of the one he wants, and Intarr admits there is another one out there named Doctor Haedian that he still has to hunt. Curious as to why a quarian would be hunting a reward like this, Yalo tells the krogan that he's doing it to save his people. Intarr tells Yalo that they both share a common goal, and asks the quarian to join him, telling him that if he wants credits he'll get a far better deal and more credits by helping him and the other krogan than a one-off reward would get him. Yalo is skeptical after seeing Intarr's methods, but the krogan assures him that they won't be killing the last one he needs, and that he'll probably be heading for the nearest space port. Yalo suggests they let the scientist go there and when Intarr wonders why, Yalo explains that his shuttle is there and that they can create a ruse whereby Yalo offers him passage back to Citadel Space, only for them to capture them instead. Intarr likes the plan and agrees.
After they arrive, Yalo waits in the main foyer for a salarian to appear. After a little while one matching the right description does, and when he asks a local elcor merchant about passage off-world Yalo interrupts and offers to take him with him. Haedian agrees, offering to pay a great deal to get back to Citadel Space. When the two of them board the Spero, Intarr ambushes the doctor and shoots him with the tranquilizer rounds he had put in his gun. Giving Yalo the co-ordinates back to his base, Intarr then leaves to return in his vehicle while Yalo takes Haedian to the co-ordinates in the shuttle, feeling a little guilty about what he had done. His conscience, coming to him in the form of his late sister's voice within his head, leaves him with moral doubts, but he tries to push the voice away by reasoning that he has to do this to save his people, and that in a way Intarr is fighting the same fight.
After arriving at his destination and delivering Dr. Haedian, Yalo is asked to visit the krogan in charge of the whole operation: an old warlord named Durrlex Gonamida. Gonamida tells Yalo that Intarr has said good things about him, and that he feels that they share a commonality between them in that both of their races have been hard done by The Council in the past and that they are both people who want to set things right, not through revenge, but through trying to undo the damage as best they can. He tells Yalo that he has captured the scientists in order to cure the genophage that has crippled the krogan, and how he acquired the means to do it at the cost of the life of his own daughter. She was an asari scientist working on the genophage cure on on Virmire, and sent Gonamida as much information as she could before the bomb exploded there, destroying the facility. Ever since then he's worked to cure the genophage with the small amount of data he got. He welcomes Yalo aboard telling him that he'll be well paid for simply guarding the scientists.
The entire group pack up and leave, believing that if Yalo managed to track them down others would likely follow. Heading even deeper into the Terminus Systems, they set up anew on the planet Bersilius, with their new base of operations located inside some rocky mountains that were once a mine, with a Thresher Maw right outside as convenient additional protection. While talking with Intarr again, Yalo learns that Gonamida is firm but fair with the salarians, and that Intarr feels that perhaps he's a little too soft and that salarians and turians don't deserve compassion. When Yalo brings up that the scientists there weren't responsible for the genophage, Intarr just gets angry and tells him that it doesn't matter because what they are is part of their nature.
Still feeling guilty about betrayed Haedian, Yalo goes to speak with the scientist, only to get a cold welcome. When Yalo tries to defend his actions and even those of the krogan, Haedian won't have any of it, and he assures Yalo that their victory is short-lived and that he's too important for his people to just leave him with them. This makes Yalo even more curious as to why Haedian is apparently so important, but when he asks Intarr about the salarian the krogan just tells him he shouldn't be talking to the scientists while they're working.
Later on Intarr takes Yalo for a drive and they drive up the mountain to do some sniper rifle target practice. On the way Intarr tells Yalo how the scientists escaped by using subtle teamwork, and then expresses some concerns about whether the salarians will even cure the genophage for real or just make it look like they did only to make things worse. Yalo asks him again about Haedian again, and the krogan eventually caves and tells him that he knows that Haedian was working on something big for the Salarian Union when they took him.
After almost two weeks of guarding the scientists on Bersilius, Yalo finds himself the only one left conscious in a sneak attack on the base. The krogan and scientists all fall unconscious from a gas of some kind, and Yalo finds himself in a stalemate with a mysterious intruder, as both hold either other at gunpoint. The assailant is female, but due to her full-faced helmet Yalo can't tell of what species, though she is likely either human or asari. She is surprised to find a quarian amongst the krogan and their workers, and gives away that she had already observed the place before her attack somehow. She demands to know where Doctor Haedian is, but Yalo doesn't answer. After exchanging some insults, both dare each other to try and shoot. Yalo fires, only to find the shot passes through her as if she weren't there. Yalo is caught off guard, giving her an opportunity to knock him down. Watching her he notices her image suddenly shift places, revealing why he didn't hit her when he shot her in the head before: it was an illusion and she wasn't really where she appeared. She demands he stand up, but while he's on the ground Yalo Overloads her gun, now catching her off guard, and manages to knock the weapon from her hand. He tries to punch her, but she hits him with a biotic attack, knocking him back again. While she rolls back to retrieve the gun Yalo dropped earlier, the quarian manages to retrieve a shotgun from an unconscious krogan and both find themselves in another standoff with neither at an advantage. She challenges him again, but then backs down when he tells her that last time she did he actually fired, and now her device isn't going.
Despite being at his mercy, the female intruder asks Yalo to join her, offering to split the reward with him. He thinks she's joking, but she says she's quite serious, and that all she wants is Haedian, and the rest can remain behind, as can he, meaning he can get the reward and still work with Gonamida and his krogan. As a sign of good faith, she gives her almost all the credits she has on-hand, promising the rest later. Yalo wonders if he can trust her, but she says that it works both ways and he could easily just send the krogan after her when they wake up again, which would be very soon. Yalo reluctantly agrees, accepting the credits and pointing out where Haedian is. She wakes the salarian and when he comes to she introduces herself as Lylanya and tells him she's a freelance mercenary that tracked him here to take him back home. Haedian wonders about the others, but she says there isn't time to take everybody, and she only came for him. He protests, but she knocks him out again and leaves, promising Yalo he'll get his credits.
Left alone, Yalo wonders whether he made the right choice, with the voice of his sister returning to his thoughts to chastise him for betraying the krogan he previously claimed to be fighting the same fight. Silencing the voice with the reason that he did what he thought would give him the best advantage, Yalo is still left with doubts.
Feigning unconsciousness, Yalo is "woken up" by Intarr to find stirring krogan and scientists wondering what happened. Gonamida appears wanting answers, and a special gas-emitting device is found in the main air ventilator. When Yalo's unconsciousness is called into question, he says that Haedian attacked him and stabbed him with something, and he produces the needled-vial he used on the turian guard on Palaven claiming it to be the object used. With Haedian the only one missing (besides an ATV), Gonamida sends Intarr and Yalo to track him down.
Yalo and Intarr drive as quickly as possible towards the nearest settlement with a spaceport, only to see a large salarian starship whiz overhead towards the mountain base. Intarr turns the vehicle around and they head back to see the ship just outside the entrance dropping salarian troops, led by Agent Vaetorals, a salarian Spectre. Realising that shooting down at them will only get them caught too, Yalo notices how close they are to the Thresher Maw nest and wonders if they can use that. Getting the spare wheel from the ATV, Intarr rolls it down the side of the hill towards the nest in the direction of Vaetorals and his ship.
Vaetorals notices the wheel, and then the Thresher Maw bursts from below to attack. After avoiding several acidic projectiles, Vaetorals orders his men to distract the monstrous creature, and then the Spectre ascends his own ship to leap onto the head of the creature itself. Blasting it with his shotgun at point-blank range, Vaetorals is hurtled into the air as the creature writhes in pain and hands atop his ship again, The creature turns on him, but he throws a grenade in its mouth, causing the Thresher Maw considerable pain and forcing it back underground. With the monster dispatched, her orders his men to return to securing the krogan base and rescuing the scientists.
From the distance, Yalo and Intarr watch in stunned silence at what happened, and suddenly realise they were too caught up in watching the mayhem that they never took advantage of the situation.
With everything having gone wrong, Yalo finds himself back on Tieronus at Talan Jol's bar, along with Intarr. Wallowing in self-pity, he thinks back to the moments that led him back there.
After Agent Vaetorals had arrested Gonamida and the krogan and rescued the scientists, Yalo and Intarr had returned to the base to see what was left. Besides Yalo finding Lylanya's dropped pistol, everything else was mostly either destroyed or taken. Yalo says that he'll probably return to freelance mercenary work in order to earn credits to help his people, and Intarr offers to join him, saying that since Yalo helped him help the krogan, he wouldn't mind helping Yalo help the quarians. Yalo is reluctant, particularly because it was his betrayal of Intarr and the others that brought the whole thing crashing down. Despite feeling guilty, a darker part of himself talks him into it, saying that Yalo needs all the help he can get to succeed, and Yalo lets Intarr join him. Selling Gonamida's ship, the two split the credits and take Yalo's shuttle back to Tieronus.
But Yalo and Intarr have been almost a week without work, and Yalo is doubting whether he'll succeed at all now. Intarr asks him what he actually has in mind and what the credits are for, but Yalo says the time isn't right yet, and that he'll tell Intarr when he's ready. Intarr brings up Doctor Haedian again, and Yalo recalls how he was working on a big important project for The Salarian Union: something important enough for a Spectre to be sent into the Terminus Systems for. Wondering if he can use that to his advantage somehow and knowing that Haedian was working on the salarian colony of Mannovai, Yalo returns to his room in the bar to think things over.
Upon approaching his room, Yalo immediately senses something is wrong and draws his pistol. Upon opening the door he finds a lone asari in asari commando armour standing in the room, looking out the window. As soon as she speaks he recognises the voice as being Lylanya's, and he attacks her by pushing her up against the wall, and accuses her of selling him out and sending the Spectre after them as soon as she had escaped with Haedian. Lylanya gains the upper hand using her feminine wiles to distract Yalo and reverse the advantage, and then fully admits doing what she did. When Yalo asks why she came to find him, she says she came to give him his money as she promised, as well as retrieve her lost gun. Yalo thinks she's joking, but she maintains she's quite serious, but admits to also being curious about what she heard about him from Haedian while returning him to Mannovai. Yalo refuses to tell her anything and wants her to leave, but she refuses to go. He asks about the device she used to trick him and she tells him that it's an experimental piece of technology that uses her biotics to bend light and that she's testing it. Even after telling Yalo that he still wants her to leave, so she tries to seduce him, but that fails too, with him telling her that he doesn't need somebody along who will try to manipulate him. She suggests that her talents could be used to manipulate others though and help him get what he wants, and then that she can take him straight to Doctor Haedian again. Reluctantly Yalo agrees, but tells her to make sure she keeps quiet about what happened on Bersilius around Intarr. She agrees to not mention it, and that she'll meet him again the next morning.
Intarr is greeted at the bar by Lylanya, and wonders why she has approached him. She tells him she's come to see Yalo and that they worked together previously on a job together, making it sound like she meant before he and the quarian first met. Intarr immediately notices how cocky and arrogant she seems, and Yalo comes down and is a little nervous to see the two of them together. Lylanya greets him and then suggests they get moving if Yalo is ready. Yalo says he is and that he'll tell them the plan he has in mind on the way to Mannovai, and then Lylanya transfers the credits from the Dr. Haedian reward as promised to Yalo, not telling Intarr exactly what the transfer was for.
They trio take Lylanya's ship, a mid-sized asari ship called Karina. Yalo tells the others his plan: they send Doctor Haedian a message in a datapad that secretly has a transmission virus in one of the chips it that will cause a small signal to piggyback on the outgoing communications from wherever Haedian is located to the nearest comm buoy. While this will seem like background noise to the salarians, to them it will tell them exactly when the transmission is sent and allow them to pinpoint its origin. To get the pad to Haedian, Lylanya will need to visit the consulate on Mannovai and get them to deliver it to him. Intarr is told to stay low for the mission, since Haedian's recent kidnapping will only draw attention to any krogan in the vicinity.
Arriving at their destination, Lylanya dresses up in a formal dress and visits the consulate, where she meets with Minister Kalahao. He was one of the salarians who she dealt with when she brought Haedian back, and given this she can use the relationship to make sure the datapad gets to its destination. Kalahao is pleased to send it on, telling her that he will take it to Haedian personally when he goes to visit the facility later that day. With her task done, Lylanya returns to Karina.
Back on the ship, Lylanya asks Yalo what he has planned for Haedian. Yalo tells her that he wants to find out what Haedian is doing, and that he's confident he can convince Haedian to come with them by offering him something his government can't. Several hours later they detect the signal, pinpointing Haedian's location. Yalo and Lylanya plan to scout the place out under the cover of darkness that night.
They land on the planet, then rent a X3M to the location. They find a large, seemingly abandoned hospital-like building, surrounded by high walls. Careful observation reveals that the place isn't abandoned and has at least one turian guard beyond the wall at the main entrance. Lylanya recognises him as being part of a private security force known as The Terrestrial. She believes she can get the information out of him, and suggests that when the guards change over they follow him.
As they wait for the changing of the guards, Yalo asks Lylanya about her past. Despite reluctance due mostly to Yalo telling her nothing about himself yet, she tells Yalo how she grew up on Thessia as the daughter of a premier fashion designer. She tells of how she wanted to model her mother's beautiful clothes and that an incident involving a rich investor who wouldn't take "no" for an answer led her to being enlisted in the asari military, where she eventually became an asari commando. She loved the training itself, but hated the lack of freedom and rules. When the discipline became too much for her, she escaped, and decided to become a mercenary.
The guards change over in a little while, and Yalo and Lylanya follow the who came off to a bar called The Sapphire Suite that features exotic dancers. Lylanya sneaks in the back, surprising an asari dancer named Malveena Polimnya and having to knock her out. Donning one of the dancing outfits, Lylanya goes on stage and poses as one of them. She sees the turian and approaches him, offering to take him into a private booth. She manages to seduce him fairly easily in the booth, and encourages him to open his mind to her so they can meld. When he does she takes control, using a special melding technique to read his mind and draw the information out of him. When she has what she needs she knocks him unconscious and swiftly sneaks out and back to Yalo.
Through the voice of his own sister in his head once again, Yalo begins to doubt the success of the mission ahead and whether it will be worth it. Arguing with his own reflection as if it were Linna, Yalo is caught by Lylanya, and she tries to get him to reveal his plan to her once more, but fails to succeed in doing so.
Flying down upon Mannovai once again almost two days later, Yalo and Lylanya prepare their plan to enter the secret salarian facility. Yalo diverts a delivery truck bound by altering the holoprahic traffic signals and sends it down another road where Lylanya waits. Using her light-shifting biotic trinket to make it look like the vehicle has hit her, the driver stops only to be ambushed by Lylanya and knocked unconscious and deposited into a nearby dumpster. Yalo gets into the back to find many containers filled with various elements, minerals and metals. He climbs in one to hide while Lylanya assumes the role of the driver and they both continue on their way.
When they arrive at the facility and manage to drive it, only to have two suspicious turian guards hinder them, wondering where the usual driver is. She claims to be a last minute replacement, but the guards don't completely trust her and she doesn't have enough solid proof to satisfy them. The delivery foreman, an overly verbose and irritable salarian named Chortan, wonders what all the fuss is about, and clears Lylanya for unloading, thinking that the guards are merely being paranoid. After the crates are unloaded Lylanya tells Chortan that she's also got a pick-up to make, which surprises the foreman since he's in charge of any incoming and outgoing deliveries and never heard of it. When she name-drops Doctor Haedian he believes her, thinking it to be the only logical way she'd know the name of one of their scientists. Taking the guard named Varinus with him, Chortan leaves to find Haedian, leaving Lylanya being watched by the remaining guard.
When things are quiet, Lylanya gets a message from Yalo in her ear saying that he's trapped inside the crate, because several others have been stacked on top of his. With the turian guard listening, Lylanya has to communicate with Yalo while also communicating with the guard, to responds to both in the same way so that each response can be heard by both of them but mean something different. With careful word-play, she manages to tell Yalo that she'll help him out while simultaneously seducing the guard watching her, before she finally manages to open his mind and meld with him. After getting some information from him that could be useful for Yalo, she knocks him out with her biotics, then uses them to free Yalo. Using the information she got from the turian's mind, Lylanya gives Yalo a brief tutorial on the layout of the non-restricted areas of the facility and deals with the mess while Yalo sneaks inside.
Yalo sneaks into the facility, avoiding the returning Chortan and Varinus by ducking into a room before they pass by. Here he finds an air duct and crawls inside, navigating his way through much of the facility via the ventilation system to avoid detection and get him into the restricted area easier. Eventually he comes to an office and manages to decrypt a computer terminal and find out exactly what it is Doctor Haedian and the others in the place are working on.
Finding his way to Haedian via a layout of the facility in the terminal, Yalo confronts the salarian doctor and tells him that he's after the research and the prototype they've developed. Haedian wonders why Yalo thinks he would so willingly cave to his demands, and then Yalo tells him that if he comes with him he'll be able to promise him the credit, fame and recongition that working for his government won't, given the secrecy of the project. Haedian is reluctant, telling Yalo that he'd be considered a traitor, that he's not even the project lead and that he's already hit the alarm and summoned some guards. Before they arrive Yalo appeals to Haedian, telling him that the salarian's won't admit to losing a crucial project and because they've hidden it from the Council they'll keep things quiet. When the guards arrive, Haedian tells them it was a false alarm and dismisses them, then admits to curiosity at Yalo's proposal as well as wondering why the quarian is so keen on the project.
Haedian explains the project to Yalo further: it is a prototype for a planetary colonisation device that uses state of the art sensors and a complex V.I. to calculate and determine the most efficient means of terraforming and altering a planet to make it suitable for whichever species it is programmed to prepare the planet for, doing in only a few years what would normally take decades. Haedian guesses that Yalo wants the device to create a suitable planet for his people, and while Yalo admits that while it has become part of his plan since discovering what they were working on, there is more to things than that, and that this is more of a pleasant bonus that anything else. Admitting that he is sick of never getting the fame and recognition he felt he deserved, Haedian agrees to Yalo's proposal, but tells him that to succeed they'll need the prototype device itself, as well as the data from the other project leads, since he was only involved in the Biological Research and Development deparment. Downloading his own data, Haedian tells Yalo that he'll get the prototype and meet him outside, while Yalo gets the information he can from the other departments.
Yalo successfully gets the first two lots of data he needs, but then gets caught downloading the final one when two salarians enter the room. Yalo shoots one of the, but the other runs and Yalo makes chase. He manages to hunt him down and shoot him, but the damage is already done and guards are being dispatched to find the intruder. Yalo manages to sneak his way back to Haedian's lab, and finds the doctor along with two unconscious guards. Haedian reveals they were sent to protect him, but he got rid of them by creating a toxic gas that knocked them unconscious. He suggests that Yalo hide in the crate along with the prototype that he successfully nabbed, and they make their way for the exit.
Haedian is briefly stopped by a guard but talks his way past, telling the security officer that he's taking the prototype to safety since the base is locked down and that it will be safer outside than it will in. Haedian makes it outside to find Chortan and Varinus there wondering what he's doing. Apparently they've got Lylanya locked inside the delivery truck, her being their chief suspect regarding the intruder. Haedian demands they open the truck and put her somewhere else, telling them he plans to take the crate he has away in it. Chortan protests but eventually caves, and Varinus opens the door and leads Lylanya out at gunpoint.
Yalo quickly bursts out of the container, grabbing Chortan and holding him hostage until Lylanya is released. When Varinus refuses to comply because he feels that the security of the project is more important than Chortan, Yalo uses his Overload on the turian's weapon and then shoots him in the head. Lylanya is then released and focusses her attention on two escaping salarian workers, lifting them up with her biotics. When she witnesses Yalo shoot a defenseless Chortan in the head in cold blood, Lylanya is shocked and drops them. A frustrated Yalo then shoots the two workers dead too and tells her to get in the truck so they can escape.
Yalo, Lylanya and Doctor Haedian manage to escape in the truck along with the data and the prototype. They're picked up by Intarr and return to Karina, where Yalo regales the absent krogan with what happened. Sensing Lylanya's uneasiness and frustration, Yalo goes to speak with her when she ends up leaving and going to her room.
Lylanya let's Yalo know that she thought his slaughter on Mannovai went too far, and that he could have found other means of dealing with the situation without needed to kill unarmed bystanders who weren't even directly in the way. Yalo maintains that they needed to get rid of all potential witnesses to make as clean an escape as possible, but Lylanya maintains that there are always other means of dealing with them without coldblooded murder. Yalo tells her he'll do whatever it takes to accomplish his mission, but wonders why she suddenly seems to care so much about killing, especially when she's a mercenary herself. She refers to her actions while they've been working together and how they've always got the job done without needless death, stating that she always tries to find an alternate option when possible. When Yalo says there isn't always time for that, she says one day he'll regret it if he continues down his current path, and Yalo notices tears in her eyes. Sensing more to this than just a moral viewpoint, Yalo probes Lylanya further. Lylanya is reluctant to explain, but when Yalo says he wants to know to learn from her she agrees and tells her tale.
Lylanya's story takes place about 70 years ago when she'd joined her third mercenary band. The band was led by an asari known as Sytheria and consisted of a pair of turian twins, a batarian named Tagarn, a young drell named Arann, an asari pureblood slightly younger than her called Dri'ala, and herself. She tells of how Sytheria acted like a boss and mother to them, and that she, Dri'ala and Arann formed a close-knit sub-group. As time went on though, Lylanya and Arann eventually formed a romantic relationship, and as a result Dri'ala became gradually more distanced from them; something Lylanya didn't realise until she looked back on things.
Eventually a job came up and Lylanya was asked to stay behind, which was unusual she thought. Sytheria had claimed it was a small job and that not all of them were needed and she could stay back to look after the base while the others were away. When the others returned though, there was news that the mission was a failure and that Arann had been killed. A devastated Lylanya ran to the docking bay to find out what happened, but finds herself unable to get a straight answer out of anybody. Sytheria and Dri'ala disappear into Sytheria's quarters while the turian twins put Arran's body in his room and lock the door. Asking the turian twins what happened, all they tell her is that Arran got shot in the head.
Frustrated, Lylanya returns to her room, and a few minutes later Dri'ala arrives. Lylanya asks her best friend what happened, but Dri'ala is incredibly evasive and simply begins to pack her bags, telling Lylanya she's leaving. Lylanya is confused and wonders why her friend is leaving too, and refuses to let get go until she finds out what happened to Arann. As Dri'ala gets more evasive, Lylanya begins to suspect something, wondering whether Dri'ala caused the death with a stupid action or whether Arann took a bullet for her or something. Grabbing Dri'ala, Lylanya tells her she'll find out the hard way if she has to: by reading her mind. Dri'ala tells Lylanya she'll have to dig deep because she's not letting her inside her mind.
Lylanya searches Dri'ala mind for answers, and the entire process is a struggle, with Dri'ala resisting her the whole time. First all she gets is a feeling of jealousy, which leads her to believe that Dri'ala loved Arann too and was jealous of their relationship, but she also senses more to it than that. Eventually she witnesses a blurry scenario where Arann is holding a gun to somebody on the ship and Dri'ala draws her gun and shoots the young drell.
Coming out of the meld in shock, Lylanya sees an exhausted and apologetic Dri'ala before her crying. But Lylanya is filled with blind rage after seeing Dri'ala kill Arann, and she attacks the pureblood. Fuelled by anger and hate, Lylanya attacks Dri'ala repeatedly with biotics, throwing her around the room and against the walls again and again, with Dri'ala putting up no defense at all. She only stops when a distraught Sytheria comes into the room after hearing the noise.
After hearing this Yalo believes he understands, but Lylanya tells him that there's more to the story than just that.
Dri'ala was rushed to a medical facility while Lylanya was put in the ship's brig for a week. When Sytheria finally opened the door to it she tells Lylanya that Dri'ala doesn't have long to live, with the injuries to her head too severe. She tells Lylanya that Dri'ala wanted to speak to her before she died in order for her to understand. When Lylanya wonders what she needs to understand, Sytheria simply says that that's something for Dri'ala to tell her. She warns Lylanya that if she does anything to hurt Dri'ala further, that she'll kill her herself.
Lylanya goes to visit Dri'ala, who seems to welcome her, making Lylanya feel uneasy. Dri'ala can barely speak because of her brain damage, but her memories are apparently intact. When Lylanya asks Dri'ala what it is she wants to tell her, the younger asari requests to meld with her in order to show her. Lylanya is reluctant, as are Sytheria and the nurse tending to Dri'ala, but Dri'ala insists.
With Dri'ala's mind completely open now, the meld is clear and easy, and Lylanya learns the shocking truth to things. She sees the attempted heist and that it turns out the ship her mercenary peers attacked was a ship filled with expensive asari fashions. The figure Arann had the gun pointed at turns out to be Lylanya's mother, and when the drell threatened to shoot her because she refused to co-operate and things got out of hand, Dri'ala shot him to save her, knowing who she was. When Lylanya realises that it still doesn't explain the jealousy she sensed in Dri'ala, the pureblood lets her know the truth there too: she wasn't jealous of Arann because she was in love with him, she was jealous because she was in love with Lylanya.
Devastated by the revelation, Lylanya leaves the mercenary group and goes out on her own, promising to do better for Dri'ala. She receives a message from Sytheria shortly after telling her of Dri'ala's passing, along with the pureblood's pistol. Lylanya shows Yalo the gun mounted above her bed, and how she keeps it as a constant reminder, even though it's something she could never forget. The gun she uses is a replica, to remind her while she's out there as well, with the real one too precious to her to use.
With her tale over, she tells Yalo to remember it too, and take it to heart on the road ahead. Yalo maintains that he'll still do what he has to, and when Lylanya says that he can't fathom how hard things like that are to deal with he says that he hopes that's true, because he'll deserve no less.
On the way to their next destination, Yalo shares the secrets to some of his tricks with Intarr and Doctor Haedian, including the revelation that his Overload is not what it seems. He promises to tell them his grand scheme once things there have been sorted out. Eventually they arrive at Noveria, where Yalo plans to meet with representatives of Binary Helix to negotiate with them for something. When they land at Port Hanshan, Yalo and his companions are stopped by security forces there and asked for identification to be verified since they weren't scheduled to arrive on Noveria. They are eventually granted access, and they make their way to the Binary Helix offices.
A woman at the Binary Helix reception desk greets them and Lylanya speaks with her to organise a meeting between Yalo, herself and their CEO. The woman tells them that their CEO doesn't deal with such requests in-person when dealing with a new business partner, but that she can set up a meeting between them and a man named Bert Morton the next morning. Lylanya accepts and they leave. Outside the office she aplogises to Yalo for not consulting him before the decision, but he says he's okay with it. Lylanya confronts him on the subject of what he's after, saying that before they can continue she and the others really need to know what he has planned. Yalo reluctantly agrees to tell them, but not until they're back on Karina.
On the ship, Yalo reveals a planet to the others and tells them that it's what he wants from Binary Helix. Apparently it's filled with element zero and is of good enough size and distance from its sun to be habitable with the proper terraforming. He says he wants to make it the new quarian homeworld and wants to make a deal with Binary Helix. When the obvious questions arise about how they would ever agree to it, he says that one of the things on offer is the terraforming prototype, but that he's offering something else as well: the quarian people. He admits that he's planning to lead them into a trap and then give them as slaves to Binary Helix to mine the eezo. The others are shocked and wonder why he's doing this when he's claiming to want to save his people. Yalo explains that he's studied history across many cultures and civilisations and that a pattern is present whereby any major group that is enslaved eventually rises up to fight off their oppressors and gains strength once more. He believes his people have grown weak over the years and that somebody needs to take action in an extreme manner, and that that somebody is him. He vows to see his plan through, no matter the cost.
After hearing the full extent of his plan, Lylanya takes Yalo aside and asks him not to do what he's planning on doing. Yalo tells her he cannot, and asks her if his revelation will mean she'll no longer help him and whether she wants him and the others off her ship. Lylanya asks Yalo to try and find another way and tells him that if he can promise her that at the very least then she'll continue to offer her assistance. When Yalo sees that she clearly wants to help his people almost as much as he does he swears that if another alternative comes his way he'll take it.
Yalo and the others meet up with Bert Morton the next day as planned, and after some sidestepping around the issue a blunt statement from Dr. Haedian sees the Binary Helix rep asking them to leave and telling them that the deal is out of the question. Yalo tries to convince him otherwise and that the deal will benefit Binary Helix, but Bert is adamant, telling them that they'll have nothing to do with the slavery of the entire quarian race and that they're already in enough trouble as it is after the rumours surrounding their involvement with the rogue turian Spectre Saren Arterius.
Yalo and the others leave, with Yalo telling them that he still has another plan and that their next destination with be the planet Earth.
On the way to Earth the others question Yalo as to why they're going there. The quarian tells them that while Binary Helix may not sell the planet to them, they may sell it to another company. In this case Yalo is thinking of a human business called Cirrostratus Industries, one of several companies owned by a businessman named Ivan Levine. Levine is apparently known for being a successful businessman who is extremely loved and respected by humankind simply due to the fact that he's made it through the cutthroat world of business without a mark on him. Yalo suspects there's more to Levine than there seems, and he plans to use Lylanya to find out how the human really became a success and what he might be hiding by seducing him and reading his mind. While she and him arrange a meeting, he wants Dr. Haedian to try and figure out a way to disable the entire Migrant Fleet as efficiently as possible.
Upon landing at the Washington D.C. spaceport, Yalo and Lylanya take a shuttle to Cirrostratus Industries' head office. While there Yalo suddenly realises that he's not going to make a good impression in his ragged quarian clothing and asks Lylanya to visit Levine on her own to set up the meeting. In the meantime, Yalo explores the city.
Back on Karina, Haedian and Intarr get into a verbal sparring match and exchange insults, which leads to the salarian accidentally revealing that it was in fact Lylanya who gassed all the krogan on Bersilius rather than him. Intarr picks up on this and threatens the doctor to tell him everything about what really happened on that day.
Lylanya manages to get into Levine's offices where she meets the businessman's personal secretary, Talia Ivanova. The young human tells Lylanya that while Levine isn't in at the moment and is a very busy man, she can set up an appointment with him in a couple of days time. Suspecting from several clues during their time together that Talia is in fact attracted to her, Lylanya sets some bait to lure the young secretary to a local resturant and bar that came up in their conversation: Telesto.
Lylanya contacts Yalo telling him that if the bait is taken she may be able to get some information ahead of time for him. Yalo returns to the spaceport, where Intarr greets him as he approaches the ship.
As Yalo approaches, Intarr helps him into the ship and he goes to see Haedian. The salarian is slightly more fidgety than normal, which Yalo calls him on, but he manages to dismiss as just nerves from being left alone with Intarr. He thinks he has the beginnings of an idea, using a similar dormant virus to the one Yalo used to track him in order to disable the quarian ships by physically damaging them in some fashion. Yalo says that it would be near impossible given that The Migrant Fleet is made up of hundreds of different ships designed in a different way. Haedian ponders about affecting the quarian's air filters or something to give them a disease across all ships, but this also wouldn't work. It does give Yalo the idea of where to target though: The Liveships. If they can find a way to threaten them, then it would affect the entire fleet. Yalo makes it clear he wants at least one disabled, destroyed or rendered useless in some fashion, knowing that it would cause millions to starve. He feels the point must be made if he's to be taken seriously. He then suddenly feels ill and goes to the cargo hold to rest, where he hears Linna's voice again telling him that he's feeling bad because he realises what he's doing is wrong and that there's still hope for him to change his mind. After briefly wrestling with his own conscience, he goes to sleep.
Meanwhile, Lylanya attends her date with Talia at Telesto, where she meets the young woman's brother: Gregory Ivanov. Joining them she gets the impression that Gregory embarrasses his sister a fair bit and that's she's not entirely happy with her life. When Gregory leaves them alone, Talia explains that she and her brother were pressured to excel in their youth by their successful corporate parents and as such she feels she wasted her youth and never got the chance to live much. She acknowledges it got her where she is though. She explains that her brother means well though and that he only wants what's best for her, and teasing her is just his way of encouraging her to take opportunities before her. Talia admits she finds Lylanya attractive, and that her brother was just using this to encourage her to seek out a possible relationship with her. Lylanya uses this admission to try and coax a little dirt on Levine from her, but Talia won't bite, despite taking it all in good humour. Despite wondering if getting too involved with Lylanya is a good idea given their business relationship, Talia invites the asari for a dance.
Back on Karina, Haedian returns to the ship to inform Intarr that he's disabled the docking bays security systems. With them down Intarr believes he can finally inact his revenge on Yalo for betraying him and the other krogan on Bersilius. Haedian tells the krogan he's overreacting, but Intarr is furious and believes Yalo needs to pay for what he did. He goes into the cargo hold and grabs a sleeping Yalo by the throat and hauls him outside, throwing him on the ground. Intarr calls Yalo on what he did and no matter what the quarian says it isn't enough. Yalo asks if Intarr wants an apology and then tells him that while he's sorry that Intarr was hurt and betrayed, he doesn't regret that he did it because it got him so far so fast, and that he'd probably still be there on Bersilius if he hadn't. He tells Intarr if that means he's going to kill him, then so be it. Intarr pauses briefly, but says it does, and trains his gun on Yalo.