Biography 12: Christina Shepard at Age Thirty-Two
Fan Fiction for Mass Effect
Characters: Commander Christina Shepard, Liara T’Soni, Robert Edwards (OC)
Setting: During the events of Mass Effect 3 (Interludes after the end of ME3)
Story Word Count: 3034
Christina Shepard stood a little unsteady looking out the window. “It’s still hard for me to believe it’s over, Liara.”
“Me too, Shepard. It's good to see you standing on your own," Liara said then paused. “You should know we all read your last journal entry. We thought you were dead and when we logged that into the Normandy’s computers, your last journal entry came up.” Liara walked over and stood by Shepard. Liara wanted to hug Shepard but was afraid she might cause Shepard to fall. “You have been a better friend than I deserved Shepard. And when I have children, I will name them all after you.”
“I’m not dead, Liara. Don’t build me a memorial just yet,” Shepard said.
“Shepard, I didn’t mean …” Liara started, then Shepard hugged her.
“It’s okay, Liara. It was a joke. We’re still going to share secrets, right?”
“Of course. I have to be able to tell someone about what’s going on. Plus, I’m sure I’ll need your advice,” Liara said.
"And I will need yours," Shepard said as she and Liara stood, arm in arm, looking out over a Reaper free horizon.
End Interlude 1
Liara, this is the final set from my personal journal. As I didn’t mention you-know-who in my previous entries, I also didn’t mention the other you-know-who here. I say some personal things, but I tried not to break any confidences. Let’s go over these to see what to include in your final draft. - Shepard
Shepard’s Personal Log – Vancouver I
I’ve had time to write in this journal recently, but I haven’t felt like it. I’m frustrated and angry, but I’m trying to keep it under control. I guess some of the things I’ve learned from Samara stuck.
The Alliance stripped me of my rank because of what happened on Aratoht. Also, I’m in the Alliance equivalent of low-security prison. The accommodations are not bad, and aside from the constant surveillance, my guards are nice to me. But, I’m sure someone is monitoring any communication I have, which is almost none. Aside from generic messages, no one is trying to contact me. That could because I warned the Normandy crew contacting me might be a bad idea.
I’m not sure what the Alliance did to Joker and Dr. Chackwas. I hope they are both okay. Most everyone else left the Normandy before we turned it over to the Alliance. I’m sure we pissed off the Illusive Man when we did that. I hope he’s not hunting down the crew for not stopping me. I hope Jacob’s okay.
From what I can tell there is no active preparation going on for the Reapers. The worst part is when the Reapers get here I will not get to tell anyone, “I told you so.” I blew up the Alpha Relay to give us time to prepare. Only that assumed someone was bright enough to want to prepare.
I’ve been thinking about my life and all its twists and turns. Turians killed my mother. Criminals killed my father. I don’t know where Nerissa is now. I wonder if Eric and Volkov are still in the Alliance? I wonder how Farmboy is doing out in the Terminus Systems.
That one still gets me. I would never have imagined Edwards would leave the Alliance for a smuggling career. Going back to the farm to raise a family I could see, but smuggling? I should have answered his messages, and his calls but not answering was easier. It allowed me to think he hadn't mattered. Part of the reason for the fling with Major Laine was to convince myself Edwards hadn't mattered. When Farmboy stopped writing a few years back, I assumed it was because I wasn’t responding. Now it seems like it was because he took off for a life of crime.
Sorry, I got lost in my thoughts for a bit. It’s so quiet here. Sometimes there are people in the halls, but there's little activity that seems to matter. The days blend together and time slips by so fast. The odd thing is I thought I would miss space more than I do. I don’t like that I'm under guard, but I don’t miss the Normandy like I expected when they first put me in here. I miss my friends.
I do wish I was helping to prepare for the Reapers though. Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking. If they don’t believe the Reapers are coming, then my punishment for destroying the Alpha Relay should be a lot more severe than this. If they do believe … Well, nobody seems to be acting as if they believe. The capability of people to deny what is staring them in the face never ceases to amaze me.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Vancouver II
I can’t sleep. It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything, but I got bad news today. I had asked one of my guards, Lieutenant James Vega, if I could have contact information for Eric, Volkov, and Farmboy. It took him a couple of days (I wondered if the Alliance had told him not to give me the information), but he had it today. Bobby’s dead. The Alliance killed him over Terra Nova.
The news brought back a lot of memories. I would have thought the most vivid ones would have been him pinning me to a wall inside a storage closet. Or the first few days on Elysium. But it’s the meals my thoughts seem to want to drift back too. Times when Farmboy would sit and listen as I talked about what I was going to do when I had a ship. The way he looked at me while he listened. The way he looked at me after sex.
Sometimes Farmboy would want to have a conversation about us. Sometimes I'd stop the conversation by reminding him that we had agreed sex was all there was to us. Sometimes I'd stop it by covering his lips with mine, so he couldn’t talk. I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish we had talked. Would he have told me he loved me? Would it have mattered to me if he did?
Shepard’s Personal Log – Palaven
I doubt I will be writing much in here. I’ll be too busy. The Reapers are here. They hit Earth, and I escaped with a small crew on the Normandy. I went to Mars and got Liara, but a Cerberus AI almost killed Ashley. She’s in a hospital on the Citadel.
Liara thinks she found a way to beat the Reapers, but we need help. I'm not sure if we'll get it. Even with the Reapers here the Council is still acting like self-interested pricks. They aren’t going to see the truth until the Reapers are on their doorstep. By then it may be too late for us all.
Evidence one of that hypothesis is the Turians. The Reapers have hit Palaven, and Councilor Sparatus has asked for my aid. A quid-pro-quo arrangement where I rescue the Primarch in hopes that the Primarch will agree to help Earth. We’re on our way now.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Salarians
Some people piss me off. The Salarian Dalatross was all “the Krogan are too dangerous” and “curing the genophage would be a huge mistake.” Then, I find out the Salarians are experimenting with uplifting the Yahg. Yeah, I’m never buying anything they say again.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Mordin
What I wrote about Salarians earlier, let me revise that to their politicians, not Salarians in general. Mordin sacrificed himself today to cure the genophage, and I don’t have any words. I hope when it’s my time, I’m as brave as he was.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Ashley and Thane
Ashley held a gun on me today to protect Udina. She did this while Udina was trying to kill the Council. Ashley was so worried about me being with Cerberus that she couldn’t see Udina was working with Cerberus.
I shut down the Collectors then gave the Illusive Man the middle finger. Then I turned the Normandy over to the Alliance. All that, and saving Ashley’s life twice, and she has to think about trusting me. When she asked about coming back on the Normandy, I thought about telling her to take a hike. But Ashley’s a good soldier, and I could use another high-ranking Alliance officer on board, in case.
The cherry on top of it all was Thane died. We knew it was coming sooner or later. Thane survived longer than any of his doctors expected. But I wish it had been later.
Like Mordin, Thane went down doing what was right. He stopped Kai Leng, a Cerberus assassin from killing Councilor Valern. Before Thane died, he had Kolyat say a prayer for me. I'm not sure I deserved it, but it was a sweet gesture.
I would like to crawl up into a ball for a while and have someone hold me. But there's no one here? Where are you, Jacob?
Shepard’s Personal Log – Jacob
I saw Jacob today. He’s with someone else, Dr. Brynn Cole. Jacob told me he wanted a life and a family. When I said I wanted a family too, Jacob said we both knew the Normandy was my real love. Are you out there somewhere reading this Farmboy? Were you there when Jacob told me? If so, did you laugh? The old me would have if I’d been you.
I don’t know what to say. I thought I had been clear with Jacob about what I wanted. I know Jacob had been clear about how he felt about me. But then he runs off with Brynn.
This hurts. I’m not sure if I believe in karma, but it seems to be working against me now. I can’t help but think about how I’ve treated others in my relationships. The only consolation I have is I don’t think I ever lied and pretended I was serious when I wasn't. Maybe Jacob didn’t either, but it feels like he ran a knife through my chest.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Rannoch
Peace between the Quarians and Geth. I never expected to see the day. But I can't rejoice. Legion sacrificed himself to give the Geth individuality. I’ve lost three of my old crew in this war and almost lost Grunt. If we don’t find the Catalyst soon, I know we’ll lose more.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Thessia
I failed. We had the information for the Catalyst in our hands, and I let Cerberus take it. I could blame Tevos for not sharing the information earlier, but I should have been prepared. I knew the Illusive Man was after the information. I should have had a plan to stop him and Kai Leng.
We don't have many options. Traynor thinks she’s tracked Kai Leng to Horizon. We’ll go there and hope that we find him and the Prothean VI. Otherwise, we’ll be in a scramble to locate the Illusive Man. That’s something no one has been able to do so far.
Shepard’s Personal Log – Horizon
Three cheers for Miranda. She not only survived Kai Leng’s attack (I'm glad I didn't lose another friend after what happened on Thessia), she also tagged Kai Leng with a tracker. That was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak day.
Has the Illusive Man changed or was I not paying attention when we went after the Collectors? Cerberus lured innocent civilians to Sanctuary to experiment on them. Cerberus promised people escape from the Reapers then did to the people what the Reapers would have done to them. I know I had to work with Cerberus to stop the Collectors, but the things they did on Horizon were horrific.
PS: I wasn’t sure it was possible, but Tali is a worse drunk than I am. Yet somehow, Tali still comes off as cute when she’s drunk. Cute isn’t the word most people use to describe me when I’ve had a few. Note to self, don’t get sauced around this crew.
Shepard’s Personal Log – The End
I killed Kai Leng. It was so satisfying. And, we know what the Catalyst is. It’s the Citadel. The fleets are assembling, and we are about to go to Earth. Because surprise! Mr. Illusive Man is indoctrinated. He’s helped the Reapers secure the Citadel, and they’ve moved it to earth. All I can do is wait until Hackett says the fleets are ready. So, I want to say my goodbyes. I have a feeling I’m not going to live to find out how this ends.
Liara, I presume you’ll be the first to see this. Thank you for being my friend. We always knew I would die before you, so you can’t be sad. Hopefully, those archives you made are not necessary. But if I fail, make sure they're safe. When you settle down a few centuries from now, maybe name one of your kids after me.
Garrus, you Turian hunk you. Take care of Tali. You two are my favorite couple ever. You’ve been with me all along, even when I was with a pro-human terrorist organization. That took balls, my friend. I wish I could be there when you become Primarch to make fun of you. PS: If you get a chance, look up Captain Eric Gilmoore (assuming he’s still alive). You two would get along, and you can swap stories about how crazy being around me was.
Tali, my little sister, read what I wrote to Garrus and know that applies to you as well. You made Admiral before I did and you're good at it, too. After what Cerberus did to the Quarians, I’m grateful you joined me against the Collectors. Build a home on Rannoch and learn to live outside of that suit. You can’t imagine how good the sun on your skin feels. I wish we had the opportunity to lay on a beach somewhere, so do it on Rannoch for me.
Joker, where would I be without you? Sitting in a port somewhere wondering why the ship was just sitting here, I guess. No one else could have made that drop on Ilos. And when people talk about how much I love the Normandy, I think about you. I’m not the one who fell in love with the Normandy’s AI. I hope you and EDI have a long and happy life together.
Ashley, we’ve butted heads a few times, but I’m glad you’re here. If what I expect to happen, happens, the Normandy will be your ship, at least for a while. Keep her safe. You’re a good soldier, Ash. I wish you had trusted me more.
I’m running out of time and this has been harder than I expected. So, James, Steve, and Samantha thank you. We couldn’t have done this without you. You make me proud to be a member of the Alliance.
If anyone else reads this, thank you for helping the humans. We’re still fond of caves, by the way.
One last person, and that’s you Dr. Chackwas. You kept me alive and healthy when I did crazy things in the field. You were a friend as well as a healer. I’ll never forget waking up in your med bay after Eden Prime. Or stumbling out of your med bay after sharing a bottle of Serrice Ice Brandy. Take care of Joker and the rest of the crew.
Time to get ready for war.
Shepard walked around the hospital room picking up the few belongings she had. She was no longer unsteady on her feet, and the doctor had cleared Shepard for release. The Admirals had requested Shepard come and make an oral report. Shepard knew there would be a press conference today or tomorrow as well. Everyone wanted to hear firsthand what happened on the Citadel. Shepard didn't believe the Admirals would allow her to tell the whole story at a press conference.
The shuttle pilot had informed Shepard the shuttle was ready. Shepard only needed the nurse to come and complete the release paperwork.
Shepard heard a knock on her doorframe. “Well look who’s walking like a normal human being,” Edwards said.
Shepard turned and smiled. “It’s about time you showed up. I was afraid they’d release me before you got here.” Shepard walked over and hugged Edwards.
“So, they’re letting you go?” Edwards asked as Shepard went back to packing.
“Yes. And I have to go talk to the Admirals,” Shepard said.
“Ah, that’s what had Admiral Laine spun up. I could tell she hyped about something,” Edwards said.
Shepard looked at Edwards. Did he know? Had Eric told him? Shepard decided he didn’t know. It was just a comment. “Laine will be there?” Shepard asked.
“Yes, I would assume. The Admiral has moved up in the pecking order during the war. Eric says Laine's performance during the war garnered her a lot of attention. Laine told me she'll be part of the new Alliance defense council. Laine said, and I quote, 'You'll be someone else's problem, Edwards, and I couldn't be happier.' I think she likes me,” Edwards said.
"Well, if she does, she better get in line," Shepard said, starting towards Edwards.
Before Shepard got to Edwards, the nurse entered the room. “Are you, ready, Commander? The Admirals asked me to get you on the shuttle as soon as possible.”
Shepard finished walking to Edwards and hugged him again. “Thank you. You are coming for a tour of the Normandy, right?”
Edwards touched Shepard’s omni-tool. “You have my information. Ping me when your back on the Normandy and I’ll be there. But why are you thanking me? You’re the one who saved the galaxy.”
“For sitting with me, even when I didn't know you were there. And for setting a high bar in rehab. And other reasons,” Shepard said.
Edwards squeezed Shepard, then said, “I’ll be waiting on that invitation.”
“You better be,” Shepard said.
“Good luck with the Admirals, Shepard,” Edwards said as he released her.
“They're going to get an earful,” Shepard said and smiled.
“I don’t doubt that at all,” Edwards said.
End Interlude 2