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Nan Desu Ka?
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The Marriott at the Denver Tech Center steadily fills up, lines and clusters of convention-goers crowding the hallways of the attached convention center; it is almost impossible to get by without having to weave around mascot suits and staff-wielders, saying “excuse me” innumerable times. Those that are not staying at the Marriott for the convention hurry across the stone floor of the lobby and shoot confused glances at the people in costume.
As I trip along the hallways to return to my hotel room, I have to occasionally pause when someone calls out the name of the character I am dressed as, adjusting my fur-trimmed jacket accordingly so I can pose for their cameras. I pass by people in tailcoats, cyber-armor, and even a young man cross-dressing, all the way down to his stuffed bra and high heels, in the process; my brown-and-black ensemble seems so simple in comparison.
This scene of confusion would intimidate any normal person. Every September, for the past sixteen years,
Love, Blood and Tears: Chapter 50Love, Blood & Tears
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Shepard sighed heavily as every step she took felt harder to make. She trudged through the base; intent on saying her goodbyes to her beloved crew. She walked around in a daze, looking at the destruction of the base area alone, until her eyes fell upon a familiar face.
"Hey Commander," Vega solemnly said as Shepard approached him.
"What? No Lola?" she teased with the biggest smile she could muster.
"Huh?…Yeah, sorry," he replied as he looked down at the ground.
"Are you okay?"
"I don't know what I thought I'd feel coming back to Earth," Vega said, "I was ready to fight - ready to die if I had to. But seeing everything like this…"
Shepard swallowed down her own concerns and fears as she braced Vega's arm; knowing that his resolve needed to be strengthened in that moment.
"I know it's hard, but this is only temporary," she said as she locked eyes with him. "We will win this. So stay focused and don't let them shake your resolve."
"I know, I kn