Epilogue

Udina's Office, Human Embassy, Citadel

Donnel Udina sat behind his desk, slumped in his chair. He glared at the massive amount of datapads spread out in front of him. It felt like he had spent a lifetime already going over the choices and he had long since past his threshold for the day, falling back into his old grumpy ways. Whatever they chose today would influence the course of humanity forever. He couldn't help but think that he had earned the right to be grumpy, if just for the day, and in this particular meeting.

He grabbed a cooling cup of coffee and rained it, grimacing as he sucked down the dregs. He picked up another one of the datapads, reading it with tired eyes. It had all become a blur to him, and he barely even saw the text anymore.

Glancing up, he looked at the other occupants of his office. Seated on the other side of the table, Admiral Steven Hackett was in much the same position as Udina, slumped down in his chair. A grizzled veteran, he bore scars from fighting at Shanxi, his hair turning grey. Opposite Hackett, Captain David Anderson was leaning forward against the table, somehow having managed to stay more focused on the task at hand. He was one of the deadliest humans in the galaxy, one of the first to ever achieve the N7 designation in the special forces and responsible for countless successful missions.

"Well, what about Shepard? A colonist... but no record of her family." Udina glanced down at the datapad on Shepard.

Anderson picks up the relevant datapad, speed-reading through it. "The records were lost during the raid. She was raised in Equestria. Learned to look after herself."

"She saw her whole unit die on Akuze. She could have some serious scars." Hackett glanced at Anderson. The relationship between Shepard and the Captain was known in certain circles.

Anderson stared right back at Hackett, not giving an inch, his expression telling the Admiral that he should know better. Hackett didn't back down, not intimidated by Anderson in the slightest.

"Every soldier has scars. Shepard's a survivor." Anderson finally spoke.

"Is that the kind of person that we want protecting the galaxy?" Udina said, having missed the interaction between Hackett and Anderson.

"That's the only kind of person who can protect the galaxy," Anderson said.

Udina nodded, scanning the datapad for a moment longer. It was important that he was completely sure. This decision could affect the course of human history, after all.

He nodded. "I'll make the call."