|Against All Odds
Author: Paqu 'n' Badu PM
What if John Shepard had a twin sister, who was also on the original Normandy when it exploded? How would she be able to handle his return? Things may be different for the once harmonious pair after the course of two years turns Jane down a more renegade path.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Family - Shepard (F) & Shepard (M) - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,577 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 5 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 07-25-12 - Published: 05-07-12 - id: 8096511
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 1: A Prologue
When you're in space, everything seems so distant, calm. Despite the fact that his suit was punctured, hissing in his ear, his breathing becoming more and more difficult, he didn't worry. He knew Jane would be able to handle everything.
Jane, with her luminous skin and horrible attitude, his twin and best friend, always cracking a joke, punching him in the arm when he didn't laugh. He had pushed her in the pod with his own hands, watched her reach a hand towards him as he was pulled away from her. Her expression had been covered by a helmet.
Not to worry, though. Drifting further away from the fiery husk of the Normandy, watching the escape pod blast out of the ship.
His thoughts choked off as his oxygen ran out, his lungs attempting to wheeze in what remaining air floated around him in wisps. Darkness faded over his vision.
Joker made a slight huffing noise, a whimper of pain as he massaged his arms. Jane, however, was not paying attention to the pilot, but instead quickly removed her helmet, throwing it to the ground to press her nose against the glass window of the escape pod. Her golden eyes fleetingly grazed over the surroundings before landing on the sight of her brother, flailing in open space, his usually imposing form diminished by the sheer bulk of debris that surrounded him. Her treacherous hands attempting to reach towards him, stopped by the infernal glass. Tears spilling over her lashes, she turned away, slapping a hand against the side of the pod and triggering the mechanism that closed the window, sealing her away from the sight. She shot the pilot a glare. One of her hands twisted in her deep red mane, loose around her shoulders.
'It's your fault.'
'DON'T BULLSHIT ME, JOKER.' She screamed suddenly, sobbing now, and he jerked backwards.
'My brother is dead because of you. Because you wouldn't leave a goddamn ship.'
'Sorry doesn't bring him back. Nothing will.'
'...that he is waking up. We cannot tell for sure yet, Miranda.'
His eyes opened slightly, the world shifting around him, focusing in on the angelic face that hovered above him. Despite his multiple attempts at speaking, he could just not conjure any words from his mouth.
'He's up! Hit him with more sedatives.'' The angel's voice shifted suddenly, her hands suddenly resting on his chest, holding him steady in the sea of confusion.
He promptly felt a needle penetrate his skin, and felt himself steady once more, eyes drifting shut despite his leviathan effort to keep them open.
'Heart rate, stable. Brain activity, stable. He's going back under, Miranda.'
'Thank god. We cannot lose him again.'
And with that, he drifted into the darkness once again.
The angel was gone, her voice replaced with the steady thrum of an alarm. It drilled into his head, startling his eyes open, and the voice returned.
'John, get to the nearby locker and grab your armor and weapons.'
Confused, he did as he was told, stumbling towards the locker and waiting as the armor attached itself to his frame, covering his sensitive skin. Grabbing a pistol, his motions became automatic, checking the trigger before realising it didn't have ammunition. The voice overhead began commanding him, telling him where to move, what to do, and mindlessly, he followed. When the voice told him to blow through the heads of the mechs, he did just that, quickly demolishing any resistance that stood between him and the voice. He stumbled across another man, this one quickly running through the mechs as well, a gasp escaping his throat as his eyes found John.
'What the hell are you doing, Shepard?'
In response, he shot another bullet through the head of a mech, and the stranger grasped his arm, pulling him down to cover.
'Don't you remember me?'
John stared at him awkwardly, trying to piece together what was going on.
'We'll talk when this is over.'
He came up from cover, shot the last two mechs and crouched back in, reloading his gun.
'Lets go, Shepard.'
John stood persistently in the same spot he had been.
'The station is under attack, we need to go.'
'Not until I get some answers.'
He sighed, and began his short explanation.
'I'm Jacob Taylor, I'm an assistant for Miranda.'
'Miranda is the voice over the loudspeaker, isn't it?'
'Yes. She worked on the Lazarus project, which was basically just rebuilding you, piece by piece after you were spaced in the Normandy explosion.'
Slowly, he began to realize the events of the past years, piecing them together. He had died. Died. The word did not roll easily off his tongue, but he swallowed his thoughts, instead motioning for Jacob to push ahead, to continue the procession through the base. A different voice came over the intercom, the deeper tones of a male filtering into his ears.
'I'm- augh! Hurt. Come get me.'
Jacob screamed out his recognition, starting towards the location from which the message was sent from, opening a door to reveal another victim, on the floor, his leg bleeding.
'Shepard, medi-gel, now!' He motioned to the dispenser on the wall, and John quickly grabbed some and placed it on the man's wound. He hobbled up, limping a little, John quickly realizing he was the doctor who was with Miranda when he woke up the first time.
'You're the doctor who put me under when I first woke up...'
'Yes I am. I'll explain more later, but we have to get out of here.'
Jacob seemed disturbed by this, his expression shifting from serene to worried instantaneously.
'We're not leaving without Miranda.'
'Jacob, if shes not dead she's working for the one who sabotaged the station.'
'We are not leaving without Miranda.'
They started towards the door that led out of the room when Jacob stopped, his expression confused.
'John, I have to tell you something.'
'The Lazarus project, as well as this whole operation, was funded by Cerberus.'
'Thank you for telling me. It's nice to know I can trust you. We'll discuss this once we're not in danger.'
Eerily calm, they proceeded forward. Mech on mech were sent after them, trying to impede the progress to reaching the voice of the speakers, but they would not be stopped.
After a long battle, they reached a door, John panting and pressing a hand against a wall, unused to physical activity, and trembling slightly as it slid open. The doctor had been discussing the likelihood of Miranda's death, only to be faced with the woman herself, gun in hand.
A gun that was pointed at the doctor.
'I'm not dead just yet, doctor.'
Within the next second, the doctor was dead on the ground, blood seeping from his stomach, dying the floor around him red. Jacob let out a cry.
'MIRANDA! What are you doing!'
'He was the one who hacked the mechs.'
She nodded at John.
'Shepard. Now, we have to get off this station. Jacob, I'll explain later.'
Jacob nodded, realizing that if she could wait, he could wait.
'Now come, John, there's someone we think you'd like to see.'
A grid of light erupted from the stand as he stepped onto it. In front of him, a holographic image appeared, the Illusive Man with his ever-present cigar appearing before him. He gave him a quick description, which he mostly ignored, answering politely and raising an eyebrow when the mention of the Collectors was brought up. It was something to consider, this species abducting colonies upon colonies of humans, using them as slaves, and he agreed to work with Cerberus. He would do whatever it took to ensure the safe return on the colonies. Nodding his thank you to the Illusive man, he stepped off the platform.
The Illusive Man had given him a mission on a distant planet, pertaining to another one of the colonies. It was rather simple, really. Search for clues and survivors, and then return with the results. He wasn't worried about that. The door behind him opened.
Casually she strolled in, accompanied by my pilot, and a stranger, looking for the entire world as if she had been mauled by hordes of turians. Her once flawless skin was now dominated by masses of angry red scar tissue, her once golden eyes now the color of molten lava. Taken aback, he felt himself step away slightly, uncertain if this strange figure was truly his sister. The features were there, the strong, straight nose, large eyes, and plump, small lips, but this person was leaner, lithe, and graceful even in a standstill.
His hand reached out towards her of its own accord.
Her hand stretched out in response, her fingertips meeting his, and for the first time since he had woken up, he knew he wasn't sleeping. Stepping forward, he pulled her into a hug, burying his nose into her shoulder. She stood still, silent, waiting out my sudden emotions until he stepped away. He turned to Joker then, holding out a hand as a sign of camaraderie, of forgiveness, of friendship. Joker took it fervently.
The stranger on the other side of Jane, however, was someone he hadn't met before. Feminine, small, her face was hidden by a deep red cowl, the color of blood. Her only visible features, her lips, were tilted up, a deep purple stripe painted down her bottom lip. She bowed slightly, and said nothing, just continued to smile at the open air, as if life in general was pleasing to her.
'How have you been, Jane?'
'Bluntly put, I've been through hell and back.'
'I can tell.' He attempted an awkward chuckle.
Her hand raised slightly, grazing the marred flesh, specifically landing on one that had been bestowed on her by a particularly violent krogan. It ran down the length of her face, nipping at the edge of one of her eyebrows. It had taken months to properly heal, and even now the faint glow of the webbing that held her features together shone through in darker light.
Her arms crossed over her chest, and she tilted her lips upwards in a macabre attempt at a smile.
'Welcome back to the land of the living, John. I believe you have a mission to see to.'