The battlefield boomed to the steady rhythm of metal footsteps. Heat blistered in glowing trenches miles long. Ashes filled the air, the grimy gloom broken only briefly by rays of moonlight as the reaper steadily approached a lone woman lying prone amongst a wrecked Mako. The dead were scattered everywhere, brave men and women who had been killed mid-charge by pitiless beams flashing through the dark from on high, or dragged into shadows by twisted mockeries of the human form that screamed unseen from the fog.

"SHEPARD, SUBMIT NOW." A voice thundered.

Shepard pushed herself painfully onto one elbow and coughed as the warped breastplate of her armor squeezed tightly against her. Blood and coolant poured through rents in her armor and splashed against the wrecked transport that sheltered her. The scars on her face glowed a dull red, casting shadows along her face.

She lifted her head to glare at the colossal monstrosity that loomed over the battlefield, and felt her blood run cold. The monster called itself Harbinger and it had showed no mercy.

"I will not." She choked in a raspy voice. "None of us will. We can-"

"YOUR INTERFERENCE HAS ENDED. YOUR ALLIES HAVE FALLEN. YOU HAVE FAILED."

Shepard could only glare in response. It was true. The attack had been an absolute disaster. Even the combined might of a last ditch galactic fleet had been broken like porcelain against steel. Nothing they threw at the reapers seemed to phase them. The Harbinger shrugged off missiles, mass drivers and krogan in equal measure as nothing more than a light breeze.

She hauled herself up, limbs groaning with the effort, but like the good soldier she was steeled herself against the pain, and managed an unsteady stand against the reaper.

Harbinger paused, almost hesitant, before it leaned down to loom over Shepard.

"THIS DEFIANCE ONLY DELAYS THE INEVITABLE."

Her lips twisted into a rueful grin. Inevitable? The galaxy had united like never before and fought with the intense fury of a cornered animal. Defeat might be inevitable, but there was no way in hell she was just going to let them walk over her, walk over the galaxy.

'Besides, wrex would kill me if I gave up here.'

"Inevitable? You've personally seen what I am capable of, I know you can die. I've killed two of you. And I. Am. Not. Impressed." She spat as she pointed her useless scrap of a pistol at the reapers large, glowing "eyes".

She was interrupted, however, by a crackle on her comm unit.

"Commander are you there? Hold on! Help is coming!"

Shepard's breath caught in her throat. That was Joker's voice! If he was still alive then… then her friends might be safe.

Safe? Could anyone truly be safe anymore?

"Commander if you are receiving, go to ground. The turians punched a hole through the cuttlefish and there is about to be a whole lot of firepower coming your way. Commander can you hear me? EDI can you clear up this interference?" The voice crackled to silence.

Her attention was snapped back to reality as the massive reaper shifted. Its eyes glowed crimson with menace.

"YOUR ATTACKS ARE PRIMITIVE. I SHALL SHOW YOU TRUE POWER."

Fear knotted Shepard's stomach. Harbinger could not be allowed to take even a single shot at the Normandy. Not now. Not ever.

Her perception slowed as she struggled to climb the Mako. Her bronze skin began to glow a bright, brilliant blue and the familiar buzzing of her biotics flared to life. With every step her body screamed in defiance but she ignored it. She wouldn't have to feel it for long.

"HARBINGER!" The machine was forced to take notice of her once more. Its body jerking back to face the roaring soldier. Its eyes focused tightly and thrummed with power.

"FUTILE SHEPARD. THE CYCLE CONTINUES."

A deafening roar filled the air.

'Shit!' This was going to hurt.

She pulled with her power and jumped to the side just a second too late. With a deafening roar the beam struck her in the left arm leaving nothing but ash and pain.

"FUCK"

Stubbornly she raised her remaining arm and she screamed, a scream from the depths of her soul, a scream to challenge even the roar of a reaper. With the last of her strength she grabbed the Mako's cannon, and with the sound of groaning metal wrenched it toward the reaper. The biotic amp at the base of her skull blared critical-overload warnings even as her amp began sparking in her ear. Her hand and the cannon thrummed with deadly energy.

Shepard fired. A massive blue orb launched with force toward the reaper just as it shot a beam toward her.

The warp charged round slammed into the red beam, turning a bright purple and piercing straight through the reapers eye continuing through toward the heavens.

'Heh, fuck you and yours Harbinger. Sorry Tal-'

The last thing Shepard saw before oblivion took her was the massive reaper tumbling upon her.