Shepard dives away from Garrus and into cover on instinct alone. Her heart pounds, the adrenaline rushes through her body and she pulls her pistol, sliding the thermal clip into place and crouching carefully so as not to be visible around the edge…
Being the cautious person as she was, Miranda made sure to bring along her work “briefcase”, which really was stock full of thermal clips and her weapons of choice. She made the conscious decision to not wear power armor, but she was sure to put on her headpiece which doubled as a visor and radio. Hopefully nothing would go wrong where she would even have to use her weapons, but better safe than sorry - especially when it came to dealing with Shepard.
She hopped into her hover car and sped off to the docking bay. In all honesty, she was a little nervous. She didn’t know what to expect when she got there; was it going to be all of Shepard’s old crew, including famed members like Wrex? Most of her old comrades didn’t particularly care for Miranda and her Cerberus ways, but now that she was out of Cerberus, she was hoping to God that they would finally accept her instead of looking at her with contempt.
As she neared the bay, static chatter fed through her radio and as it became cleared, Miranda’s jaw nearly dropped and clenched at the same time. “We need more on Shepard! We’ve found her and some of her old crew. Send all the mercs you have and wipe them out!” Cerberus assholes. She never thought the Illusive Man would let Cerberus agents use mercs… unless he didn’t know about it. Either way, their asses were going to be handed to them.
Miranda sped into the port and nearly jumped out of her car, Locust SMG at the ready in case of any foul play. Two batarians caught sight of her, presuming her to be hostile, and began to shoot at her. She popped a Barrier and shot them down with no effort at all. The main area of the bay held nearly a dozen mercs, and two Vanguards thrown in the mix. Her eyes scanned for the leader, and saw a Cerberus undercover agent hiding behind a crate in the back, talking furiously into his omni-tool. Damn coward.
“Stop!” Nearly everyone in the room halted and looked at her, but then all guns were focused at her head. The mercs looked over to man standing up, who motioned for them to stand down. He walked over to her, but immediately regretted it when her SMG focused solely at his head. While it didn’t show in his body language, Miranda could see in his eyes that he feared her. Most people did, with good reasoning.
“Stand down, Operative! I’m Cerberus!”
“I’m aware of this. Who gave you the authority to A) Use mercenaries to fight for you and B) Attack my targets?” All of the color drained from his face as he stared at Miranda, who was looking at him with a gaze that could freeze the core of the Earth. “That’s what I thought.” Without another thought, she planted one spray of bullets into his head and moved to the mercs. “If you want to live, run to your supervisor and tell them it was a bad call, or else I will find you and use your brains as wallpaper.” They left without a word. Miranda scanned the room and saw Shepard and Tali in one corner, and went in their direction. She nodded at the quarian before facing Shepard.
“Commander, I fear that there will be more. The agent who called the mercs in was blasting all over the local Cerberus comm channels that you’re in the area, and I can’t call off an attack without raising suspicion that I’m here. We need to get somewhere safe,” she warned, her voice low.
Shepard keeps her face neutral as she stands up, trying not to make her displeasure at seeing Miranda too clear nor the fact she’s wrestling with, of all things, gratitude towards the woman who just saved their low-on-thermal-clips-asses.
“Damn,” she mutters. “Cerberus knows and the deal’s off. I really didn’t want anyone to know we were all back together before we got the Normandy back, but if that’s the way it’s going to go…”
It’s going to be merc fight after merc fight now, just what they need: more fighting.
“That’s okay though,” she mutters. “At least we’re all together.”
She looks Miranda over for a second before she says, honestly, “It’s good to have you with us again, Miranda.” It’s true: after all, they need all the fire power they can get if nothing else. “I assume you’ve cut all ties and it’s not you that brought Cerberus down on us?” She didn’t mean for it to come out so venomous, but it’s Miranda’s precious Cerberus that caused them all this hassel to begin with and she’s not going to forget what a cheerleader she was before.
She might as well have murdered her hamster and fish herself.
Miranda felt the distaste in Shepard’s voice as she spoke, but her face remained emotionless. She crossed her arms and bit her lip after she asked about her connection to Cerberus. Was she to be upfront and just say she’s technically with Cerberus, but doing her own thing on the side, or fib and say no? It really wasn’t like Miranda to lie, so truth it was.
"Not necessarily. I did leave, but the Illusive Man grovelled to the point of nearly begging, so on paper I’m with Cerberus. My current assignment is actually to assassinate you and your old crew, but I give the Illusive Man faulty reports and say I have no luck while I’m acting under an alias," she explained slowly, carefully studying Shepard’s reactions.
She continued after the commander seemed calm. “But no, this was not my doing. There are undercover Cerberus agents everywhere in the galaxy, and this one decided to attack a target that was not his. Thankfully, the comm channels only extend in Illium, so if we neutralize the rest of the threat, there’s no reason for the rest of Cerberus to know we’re going after the Normandy.” Which was completely true. Cerberus was like a big government with tons of secret divisions; the likely hood of the division holding the SR-2 figuring out Shepard’s intentions was slim to none. Miranda smiled slightly after she spoke, something rare for the operative.
"It’s good to be back, Commander. I have a good stash of clips if you think we’ll need them before we get to our location," Miranda mentioned, noticing the extreme lack of preparation on the commander’s weapons belt.