#VVApartment – August 9, 2021

Christmas Day 2185. Early morning. The wind and snow outside is beating against the windows, and the visibility is poor. A good day to spend inside.

Va'ynna has snuck out of bed, but she hasn't gotten far. She's sitting cross-legged on the bedroom floor, quietly picking through the content of the bag Uvena had mentioned the night before. The drawing tablet is also lying on the floor, but it's face-down and out of her reach. She's holding some unknown device that Victoria might not recognize: a metallic stick with finger-grooves and a strap to go around the arm. It's

a controller that words with nerve impulses, which is difficult to use even for asari, let alone a human without the nerve control training that biotics receive. There's a sad smile on her face as she's deep in thoughts. The asari is still wearing her black night-dress, but she does not appear to mind the cool bedroom temperature.

Victoria lets out a loud yawn, she rolls over in the bed. An arm ready to wrap around Va'ynna, but with Va'ynna out of bed her arm just collides with the bed. She opens one eye to see if she was still on the bed. She sits up and rubs the sleep out of her eyes, she looks at Va'ynna sitting on the cold floor. "Hey... don't you want to sit somewhere warmer?" Her voice a little groggy from

just waking up.

Va'ynna looks up at the bed when Victoria rouses her from her thoughts. "Hm?" she asks, having registered only the fact that she was spoken to. "Sorry, I... didn't mean to wake you up."

Victoria shakes her head. "You didn't wake me." She shifts her pillow against bed's headboard and then leans against it. "Would you like to sit up on the warm bed, instead of the cold floor?" Her voice still a little groggy.

Va'ynna sighs and puts the thing she was holding on top of the bag, and lifts it with a little grunt. She places it on top of the bed before crawling onto it herself. She sits down on the blanket in front of her pillow, and she returns to digging through the content of it; less quietly than earlier. "I... woke up a while ago, and... couldn't wait any longer."

Victoria smiles at Va'ynna moving to a warmer position to sit. She shakes her head again. "It is your gift, so you could look at it whenever you wanted. No need to wait for me." She looks over at the bag. "So, what's in there?" Curious to know what the bag contains.

Va'ynna nods and drags the bag back a bit to sit on the pillow closer to Victoria. "I know, it's... just that I couldn't wait to when I wouldn't... risk waking you," she says. She pulls out a sleek black box with rounded edges and a worn brushed steel finish on top, looking it over with a thoughtful smile. It has a row of same-size cable plugs on the back that at least looks to be compatible with the universal cables

used on modern electronics.

There are others like it, some with an integrated screen or a holo-emitter. Deeper inside the bag, they might spot -- among other things -- some holographic board games, datapads, and tiny drones; both flying and rolling war machines replicating long-replaced turian military hardware.

Victoria gives Va'ynna a quick kiss on the cheek. "You don't need to worry about waking me up." Looks at some of the contents of the bag, she does not touch anything rather awaiting permission to touch before even thinking to take something from the bag. "So, is everything in there all your old stuff?"

Va'ynna smiles at the kiss, but the question receives a shake of her head. "Not... all of it," she says. "It's just some of the electronics, the rest... probably haven't survived the last... forty years, and others were things I brought with me when I... I...." She trails off and puts the computer in her hand in the lap and then pulls out the controller she was holding earlier. "I... I never beat the first mission on

the game that's on this box," she says in an obvious change of topic. "It was... made for and by salarians with... too many things to keep in mind at all times." She closes her eyes. "I got very close to beating it before I just... gave up one day without really thinking about it."

Victoria just sits and listens to Va'ynna, deciding not to interupt her. She notices the topic change but decides not to press her on the previous subject. She looks at the controller in Va'ynna's hand "You want to see if you can beat it now? See if you're a better gamer now?"

Va'ynna shakes her head. "I know I won't," she says. "I played a game seventeen entries later in the series, and for all its... improvements, I still couldn't beat the... first mission there either. Even with the... help of a friend." A small smile shows up as she turns the controller over in her hand. "She was... useless at this kind of game, though."

Victoria moves her hand to rub Va'ynna's back as she spoke. "Oh, I'd probably be just as much help as that friend of yours." She pauses for a moment.

"You wanna tell me about that friend?" Vicky asked curious to hear about them.

Va'ynna tries to hide the tight-lipped that popped up at Victoria's comparison before looking up at her. She silently hands her the controller as that should be answer enough that she might not even be as much help. "She was an asari, three years older than me. We... met through Galaxy of Fantasy after we... matched for a few raids," she says. Her voice is weary from many conflicting emotions and her face is hard to

read as she speaks. "It took a few... years before we agreed to meet, and I wish I did it sooner. I always looked forward to the end of a week to... spend all night playing games together until the sun blinded our tired eyes through the... window next to the screen." Some moisture is forming below her eyes as she thinks back.

Victoria takes the controller in her free hand, she looks at it and gives a shrug before turning her full attention back to Va'ynna. She smiles while listening to Va'ynna, she notices the moisture begin to form under her eyes. She moves the hand that was rubbing Va'ynna's back to her shoulder and pulls her closer for a hug.

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