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When I first posted the cover art for this, I was still unsatisfied with how "incomplete" the playlist felt. The idea was to tell a tale of Jack aka Jacqueline Naught through music. It was no easy thing do to say the least. I spent a few more days rearranging it and I think can pretty much say I'm satisfied with it enough to make a follow-up on it. It's been a blast putting it all together, and collaborating with fellow-fan Andrew made me appreciate music that is a bit farther from my comfort zone. :)
These are my thoughts about controling the Reapers at the end of Mass Effect 3. I was a Paragon  M/Shepard.

I used to believe without question that destroying the Reapers was the only "correct" way of dealing with the cycles of harvests. Shepard has consistently destroyed Reapers and their minions throughout the trilogy. And later, the different races would be forced to fight them too. Why shouldn't the end be any different? I thought.

I concluded that the Reapers had to be destroyed because it would be a colossal  betrayal on my part if I chose anything other than the permanent destruction of the Reapers. And I'm sure I would find my reasoning in alignment with so many others who prefer destruction over control/synthesis/refusal. And as a side-note, destroy remains the top outcome of choice based on polls I've seen in Facebook. Synthesis comes as second, followed by Control, then Refusal.

So why choose differently this time? Mostly curiousity, really. Destroy will remain as my "canon" outcome. Canon, in the sense that if I were Shepard, that's what I would pick. But even when I chose to destroy, I still found a strange appeal in  taking control of the Reapers and become a god of sorts.

I was one of the few who chose to preserve the Collector Base in Mass Effect 2. Because despite the risk of Cerberus misusing it for their own benefit, I believed that anything that can be used for the Reapers' destruction is worth saving. The Illusive Man, though not someone one should have as a role model, made good points about control rather than destroy. It was just a pity that he would descend further into cartoonish villainy by the time Mass Effect 3 came along, but I digress.

And now finally, to the actual ending itself. I am glad that Bioware decided to add some more context to each and every ending with Extended Cut, or Clarification DLC as I like to call it :D

I'll be honest, the sinister tone of  the control ending's theme was a major turn-off for me. It was a farcry from the melancholic, yet dignified theme of destroy. The colour coding of the endings also left me a bit confused. Blue has always been the paragon colour, while Red is for renegade. And if blue is supposed to be "good", then why did it feel so goddamned evil? I thought.

Upon closer inspection of "AI Shepard's" short speech however, the promises he makes for the future of the galaxy don't sound all that sinister. He talks about giving "a voice to the many" and states his refusal to forget the sacrifices made by the human Shepard and his band of brothers and sisters. The Reapers directly assist in the rebuilding of the Mass Relays, and if the Geth were not destroyed by the Quarians, they get to join the galactic community.

This outcome, at least in the short term, causes the least amounts of deaths and collateral damage. There would be no unwanted EMP explosions causing damage to ships and technology. Both Geth and EDI get to live. And most importantly, it has none of the effects of synthesis, an outcome that I've yet to understand.

Now, the controversy of this ending, besides the fact that there are now "friendly" Reapers instead of dead ones watching over the rest of the galaxy, is its' long-term implications. Some proponents of destroying the Reapers have argued that a mere human, regardless of how benevolent that human is, is not immune to human falliability. And some proponents of the infamous "indoctrination theory" claim that in choosing to control  the Reapers, the Reapers have finally succeeded in indoctrinating Shepard. But the Extended Cut "debunks" this theory by providing additional content to each outcome.

It is also unclear how this police force made entirely of Reapers would intervene in interstellar politics. Based on the little of what was said, it seems like they would act more as a safety net for the marginalised groups of the galaxy, rather than having any say in good governance. Although, if I were part of the Citadel Council, it would be incredibly difficult to ignore the Reapers watching over them in a manner that is not unlike Big Brother.

And what would this Reaper force do in matters of territorial expansion? The Krogans come into mind here because they have a lot of catching up to do as far as civilization is concerned. And if the genophage is cured, they could become a formidable force regardless of who leads them, Urdnot Wrex or Wreave. And wars will undoubtedly still be waged. Will this Reaper police intervene only when the body count has stacked up too high?

There is much still unclear with this ending, and to be fair, there's a general lack of specifics with all of them. However, I must say, if I were to describe this ending, it would be with my best Spock impression: "Fascinating".

I also romanced Jack again because I just can't leave her alone. I now have a potential story in mind of what happens to her in this outcome.

Thanks for reading!
embedded_item1541920873547 by STan94

Edited by me. 
I'm not sure which picture to use, but I am sure Shepard would have spent his birthday with the ones he loves.
embedded_item1523491079974 by STan94
Bald Romance by time-well-wasted
Fix You by LittleAsura

I'd like to thank my wonderful sister LittleAsura for drawing this intimate moment between Jack and my Heinrich Shepard. This is my favourite moment in Mass Effect 2 where she a reveals a very different, very tender side of her character.

I've read an interesting comment saying that they didn't want to court Jack because they felt as if Shepard's advances towards her seemed like "taking advantage" of her. I somewhat agree with this, even playing as a Paragon, I felt that some of the lines of Shepard felt a bit predatory. I don't know if it was just Mark Meer's delivery or just the his lines that made it seem like so.

Besides that, another commentator argued that Jack needed a psychiatrist, not a boyfriend in the state she was in Mass Effect 2. Again, I somewhat agree to this and I think I would've written the game in a way that Shepard can have the option to walk the extra mile in order to get Jack the help that she needs. I would've written Shepard as the one who introduced Jack to the Jon Grissom academy and the Ascension Project, instead of having Jack being contacted by the Alliance right after Shepard's detainment on Earth. 

I actually think that without Shepard as her guide and partner, Jack would still be a wandering convict and not the teacher that she inevitably becomes in Mass Effect 3. I just don't see her character taking that big of a leap without some sort of guiding force, like a shepherd.

Anyway, I think I've rambled long enough.

Thanks for reading :D 
My sister LittleAsura has a few  pieces about Mass Effect, give them a fave if you like them. I'm so excited for some of the stuff she's working on. 

Jacqueline Naught by LittleAsura Kasumi Goto by LittleAsura