The Good Shepherd

Prologue: Dead or Alive?

Mass Effect is owned by Bioware and Carrie is owned by Stephen King.

The 2013 version of Carrie is owned by Metro Goldwyn Mayer Productions and director Kimberly Pierce.

The only things I own are this crossover of the two and any original characters that may be featured.

Author's Note: My knowledge of Mass Effect centres around the actual games rather than the comics and for the most part the comics will be disregarded. Those details from the comics that are included come from the Mass Effect Wiki and will not necessarily be a full match-if this is a problem for anybody then I'm sorry but you'll just have to live with it after all this is fan fiction which is AU by it's very nature.

Also, I borrowed the character of Albert Jenning from Cradle of Rage by TawniToxic briefly in this chapter.

And finally, this is the revised and expanded version of this chapter.


My boyfriend and most of my friends died that night, but I know what I saw.

You want an explanation? Carrie had some sort of power, but she was just like me, like any of you-she had hopes and she had fears and we pushed her.

And you can only push someone so far before they break.

Susan Snell giving her statement at the White Commission, October 1st 2015.


One would have thought that given how obvious Vyrnnus Cirix had made his disdain for humans the Alliance would not have made the mistake of trusting somebody like him with the safety of human children...the blood of every child who died is on the hands of those who made the mistake of doing so.

Unfortunately it appears that some of us still haven't learned the lessons of Black Prom.

Doctor Karin Chakwas in an interview with the Alliance News Network while treating the survivors of Biotic Acclimation And Temperance March 12th 2169.


Gagarin Station, March 9th 2169-the mess hall.

Rhana Wills had never felt so exhausted as she did right now, she and her fellow students at Biotic Acclimation and Temperance had been overtaxing their biotics for hours forming these damned blocks into a structure that would meet the approval of their mean spirited instructor Vyrnnus.

Frankly Vyrnnus Cirix terrified her.

Okay, keep your grip on it, Rhana told herself silently as she manoeuvred another block into place with her mind, beside her Kaidan did likewise.

And another, they had been at this for hours, many of the kids had dropped from exhaustion and Rhana herself felt ready to drop as she struggled to move the next piece Carefully now...carefully...OH NO.

Rhana felt panic stab her as she lost her grip on the next block, fortunately Kaidan managed to catch it before it destabilised the whole structure.

"Nice catch Alenko," Vyrnnus' distinctive dual toned voice remarked before his gaze found Rhana "you on the other hand are sadly lacking in what is required."

"Sorry...Sir," Rhana panted as she felt the world swaying around her, dizzy from thirst.

"A little thirsty are we?" Vyrnnus asked rhetorically as he biotically lifted a glass off of a nearby sink, manipulating a few biotic fields to fill it from the tap and then bring it closer, floating it just out of Rhana's reach "if you can take it from me with your biotics it's yours."

Rhana focused on the glass, trying to pull it toward her to no avail...although she could feel it in her mind she couldn't shift it as she was too weakened by thirst, without thinking she reached for the glass with her hand.

Rhana heard Kaidan's shouted warning a second before she felt a splintering pain in her arm as a spray of water and glass shards hit her in the face.

A cry of agony attempted to tear itself loose from her throat but couldn't because of the sheer intensity of the pain as she sank to her knees, the world blurring behind a curtain of tears and nausea.

Despite this however, she was aware of the confrontation that followed between Kaidan and Vyrnnus, she saw Kaidan blast Vyrnnus back, she saw the fight that followed, the knife that Vyrnnus drew on Kaidan and the kick that ultimately snapped Vyrnnus' neck.

As terrified as Rhana was of Vyrnnus she now feared Kaidan more, but she would soon have reason to fear herself as well.

It wouldn't be until months later that Rhana would realise that Kaidan had been acting with the sole purpose of protecting her, and that Vyrnnus hadn't left him a choice in the end.

And as she would come to that realisation she would feel renewed sympathy for another biotic, one from the history books...Carrie White.


Transcript from the autopsy report of one Carrietta Natalie White, dated May 28th 2013

Name of deceased: Carrietta Natalie White.

Sex: female.

Age: approximately 17 years.

Race: caucasian.

Hair colour: Strawberry Blonde.

Eye Colour: green.

Height: 5 feet 2 inches.

Weight: 88.18 lb.

Tatoos: None

Other identifying marks: Whip scar across lower back and faded burn scar on right shoulder.

Estimated Time of Death: 2:10 AM May 27th 2013.

Cause Of Death: Undetermined at this time, some possible causes are listed in additional notes.

Additional notes;

There are very few things about this particular case that would not be regarded as peculiar.

Despite the circumstances of death the deceased shows little physical damage that can be detected by external examination.

Bruises are evident consistent with falling down a flight of stairs along with knife wounds to the left arm and right calf and a deep stab wound to her back which may have possibly pierced her heart thereby causing her death...oddly enough however all of these injuries are already partially healed.

Given that the deceased was removed from the wreckage of the house where she died just fifteen hours after it's collapse and her body temperature and the degree of rigor mortis evident indicates that she has been dead approximately fourteen and one half hours at the time of autopsy I would normally state that these injuries must have been from an incident previous to the incident that killed her.

However, two factors noted in the autopsy contradict this conclusion;

Firstly, fresh blood approximately fifteen hours old from all three knife wounds was evident on the body of the deceased.

And secondly, the severity of the knife wound to the back of the deceased would have been difficult to impossible to survive for much longer that half an hour without prompt medical attention or at least the degree of apparently rapid healing noted.

Also the deceased shows none of the usual changes that happen after death save for lack of body heat and the rigidity of rigor mortis, her eyes...still open...are clear and show no signs of filming over and although her skin is pale her colouring is more consistent with a living person who is in poor health than a corpse with no livor mortis or any of the usual discolouration evident.

Additionally her bowels and bladder don't show the usual evacuation that happens at the moment of death.

Invasive autopsy could not be performed as due to reasons unknown our surgical instruments were unable to pierce the skin of the deceased...a fellow medical examiner who I will not name suggested using a chainsaw instead.

I sincerely hope that this remark was a joke...regardless it was a joke in poor taste.

Despite this a small amount of blood was able to be drawn via the knife wound on the left arm of the deceased, this blood showed no signs of coagulation, which considering how long she has been dead is most peculiar indeed.

A view inside the body of the deceased was instead obtained using X-ray imaging, sonograms and CAT scans, this was able to confirm that the heart of the deceased was indeed damaged though not pierced through, which given time may have resulted in her death...though given her apparent rapid rate of healing possibly not.

However lack of oxygen also could have caused her death or possibly head trauma due to the collapsing building, neurological damage from overuse of her supposed telekinetic abilites was also considered as a possible cause of death but no cerebral haemorrhage was detected.

This method of autopsy was also able to identify an unusual structure at the base of the brain, which may tie in to the accounts and footage of the deceased wielding what appeared to be some form of telekinetic ability during the incident at prom.

The toxicology report also identified the presence of an unknown compound in the bloodstream of the deceased which may or may not account for her apparent psychosis during the incident...the possible effects of this compound psychotropic or otherwise are still unknown.

Doctor Albert Jenning, Office of The Chief Medical Examiner, Chamberlain Maine


Omega, April 5th 2169...the slums.

Rhana Wills woke from where she had slept propped against the wall of the dilapidated apartment she had managed to gain temporary use of.

The truth was as she had been berating Kaidan nearly a month ago for how he had handled the situation with Vyrnnus she had been feeling like a damned hypocrite the whole time.

She didn't like to think about it but she had accidentally put a medtech who had grabbed her injured arm the wrong way in critical care when she had instictively lashed out in pain...and yet she had held what Kaidan did against him.

Kaidan had responded angrily to what she had said, but had had the grace not to mention her own loss of control...too much of a gentleman to do so.

Dammit Rhana, she berated herself as she rose, taking care with her still healing arm you just had to open your big fat mouth.

And for her part ending up on Omega had been an unfortunate combination of poor decisions and bad luck, starting with escaping the hospital and running away because she was afraid she might hurt somebody else besides that poor paramedic.

It had nothing to do with fear of being sent to another biotic concentration camp Rhana told herself...well maybe a little.

Throwing on her battered hand me down jacket and exiting her 'home' Rhana steeled herself for another gruelling day of grabbing whatever odd jobs she could find to earn enough credits to live on, and with her injured arm that selection was limited.

One thing she could do quite well though was gather information, a talent she had discovered since coming to Omega.

Rhana had expected another shitty day living on Omega, she had expected to have to scrape to survive yet again, she had expected lewd advances from drunk idiots outside Afterlife.

She hadn't expected the bat like humanoid that grabbed her by the throat and slammed her against the wall, she had known they were around but hadn't expected to be accosted leaving her apartment.

Vorcha, Rhana thought fearfully, she had heard about what they did, she had seen what they did and she knew that she was now in very real danger of being eaten alive...a terrified whimper escaped her as her pretty face was marred by an expression of absolute terror.

And as with that medtech Rhana lashed out with her biotics without thinking, sending the Vorcha slamming into the opposite side of the alley with a sickening crunch.

Frozen for a moment Rhana felt bile rising in the back of her throat at the sight of the Vorcha's mangled carcass lying in that alley and the thought that she was responsible.

And you berated Kaidan for doing the same thing.

The snarl coming from the end of the alley snapped Rhana out of her stupor as she saw the rest of the pack closing on her, enraged at the loss of one of their number...Rhana did the only thing she could do.

She ran as fast as she possibly could with the pack on her heels wanting to devour her, unfortunately she failed to realise that she was running into a blind alley until she was cornered.

Oh shit, oh shit shit shit.

Bringing her biotics to bear Rhana fought back as hard as she could, smashing two more of the hideous creatures into pulp as she fought back the nausea at the thought of what she was doing and knocking a few others back, but she couldn't keep this up forever.

And the vorcha kept advancing, there were so many of them.

Ripping three more vorcha in half and knocking over a dozen more with their remains Rhana fought to live as they got closer, until a clawed fist slammed into her abdomen and doubled her over.

And then she felt fangs in her shoulder as a vorcha decided to begin the feast.


The vorcha's head exploded in a shower of gore as a high velocity sniper round reduced it to pulp.

"Gavorn," another of the Vorcha shouted, terror plain in it's ugly voice as the whole pack turned and ran, but not before the heads of two more exploded courtesy of this Gavorn.

As the last of the pack departed a Turian emerged from the shadows, collapsing his sniper rifle back down to it's folded form and attaching it to the magnetic hardpoint on the back of his hardsuit.

Dimly Rhana was aware that another turian was responsible for her injured arm, but what was far more important to her was that this turian had saved her life, she hugged him so hard in gratitude that she nearly knocked him off his feet.

What this Gavorn had done was the same thing Kaidan had done, he had fought and killed to protect her, Rhana wasn't afraid of the one who had fought for her this time though, she was grateful to him.

"Thank you," Rhana sobbed in relief "thank you, thank you."

"It's okay," Gavorn told her, a chuckle of amusement detectable in his dual toned voice "what's your name?"

"Rhana," she told him as she released her grip on him "Rhana Wills."

"Ah yes, I've heard rumours about you lately," Gavorn noted in recollection, Rhana wondered what kind of rumours they were "anyhow, my name is Preitor Gavorn."

"Pleased to meet you," Rhana replied "thank you for saving my life."

"Oh I think you would have survived without me," Gavorn remarked dryly as he regarded the corpses of the fallen vorcha "of course you would have been a lot more bloodied, nonetheless you handled yourself well and I hear that you're good at ferreting out information, I could use somebody like you."

Rhana thought for a moment as the events of minutes ago played through her mind, and for the first time she didn't feel nauseous at what she had done to those...creatures, finally she spoke.

"What's the pay?"


Gavorn's apartment a short time later.

Rhana grit her teeth against the stinging in her shoulder as Gavorn carefully removed the pieces of vorcha fangs embedded in her right shoulder after she had taken a shower to wash off the vorcha blood and brains.

"And all done," Gavorn told her as he removed the last piece then wiped the blood away with a clean cloth "I'd better give you a double dose of medi gel though, there's no telling what that vorcha might have been chewing on, you'll probably feel a little light headed for a while but it's better than getting an infection."

Nodding her assent Rhana grit her teeth against the inevitable burning sensation produced by the antiseptic in the medi gel as Gavorn applied it while she waited for the local anaesthetic to take effect and the organic liquid bandage sealed the wound.

"So how did a kid like you end up on Omega all on her lonesome?" Gavorn asked.

"Why do you ask?" Rhana queried him "I'm not that interesting."

"Just curious," Gavorn remarked with a shrug.

"Well if you must know it was a combination of bad luck and bad decisions."

"And you're not going to tell me more than that?" Gavorn surmised.

"Not a word more."

"Fair enough," Gavorn agreed "my job offer still stands."

"And I already agreed that I'd do it," Rhana reminded him "information gathering right?"

"That's right," Gavorn told her, his mandibles flaring briefly in the Turian equivalent of a grin "help me pin down where those pests are hiding."

"You realise my biotics could be useful to you as well, right?"

"In due time perhaps," Gavorn suggested non-committally "I understand wanting to smash those vermin into paste, especially after what I saw them doing to you, but you're in no condition to take them on until your arm heals, for now stick to information gathering and give yourself time to heal."


Over the next two months Rhana plied her trade in Gavorn's employ, and together the two of them were able to make a serious dent in the vorcha population of Omega, a fact that pleased Aria T'loak, the de facto ruler of Omega and the one who had contracted Gavorn's services in vorcha removal.

Of course once Rhana's arm and shoulder were healed and she was able to actually fight instead of just gather information they made an even bigger dent.

Presently Rhana was walking along an alleyway in one of the shittiest areas of Omega (and that was saying something) toward a prearranged destination.

Straining her ears to listen Rhana soon picked up what she was looking for, the distinctive ugly voices of several vorcha coming from the many shadowed areas of the alley and all of them moving in her direction.

Come to Momma.

Taking care not to react at first Rhana continued walking until she heard a particularly loud shriek from one of the vorcha following her.

Time to make the bait more tempting.

Rhana took off running at a flat out sprint as though she were running in a blind panic and the vorcha wasted no time giving chase failing to realise that her sense of direction was just a little too good for somebody in a panic.

Ahead of her two vorcha stepped out into the alley to head her off and Rhana immediately employed a new trick she had recently learned from one of Aria's Asari friends, using her biotics to catapult herself forward like a human missile, the force of her biotic charge leaving both vorcha mangled and dead in the alley.

The vorcha behind kept up the pursuit, now fuelled by anger at the loss of two of their pack.

Rhana winced as a burst of gunfire pinged off of her biotic barrier and kept running, reaching her destination in no time.

Gavorn was already waiting in the prearranged alley for her to bring the party to him.

The vorcha behind her were a little closer than she'd intended though.

Coming to a stop right beside Gavorn Rhana spun around to face her pursuers and thrust her right hand palm out at them, unleashing a wave of biotic force that smashed the closest ones into shredded meat and splintered bones and knocked them all backward, Gavorn activated the holographic interface of his omni tool on his left wrist and pressed a single control on it.

And the entire section of the alley that contained the vorcha went up in a fireball.

"There's four or five dozen less vorcha making a nuisance of themselves," Rhana noted dryly.

"Aria will be pleased," Gavorn added, raising a brow plate he politely inquired "what kept you?"

"I had to make the bait tempting enough," Rhana insisted defensively.

"Judging by our catch I'd say you succeeded," Gavorn noted in an impressed tone "we got rid of at least a hundred vorcha just now."

"I also splattered a couple with a charge on my way here," Rhana added with a shrug "they got between me and where I needed to go."

"Nicely done," Gavorn commented with a polite nod "let's go inform Aria shall we?"


Peering around the end of an alley that joined the one that had just exploded into fiery hell Agent Shadow took note of the turian man and the human girl who had just done their bit for urban beautification on Omega by removing the ugliness of so many homicidal vorcha.

A grim smile found itself upon her face beneath the faceplate of her helmet.

"Nice job," Shadow remarked "my old acquaintance back home couldn't have done it better."

"Is that the girl we're looking for?" Operative Dobson asked her in a hushed whisper.

"That's her," Shadow confirmed "Rhana Wills, not sure what the Illusive Man wants with her but I never had the balls to ask what he wants with any of his test subjects, can't help but feel a little guilty about what comes next innocent girl like her."

"Innocent?" Dobson asked with a hint of amusement "you did see her killing vorcha right?"

"Doing a public service as far as I'm concerned," Shadow remarked "besides, compared to me she is innocent, and powerful. We'll have to approach this carefully, backing a biotic into a corner is always a risky proposition, I know this from experience...if not for my healing factor I'd be dead."

"No doubt," Dobson agreed "but you're a better person now."

"Am I better?" Shadow asked "or am I just smarter? I don't blame her though...not anymore."


Keeping her head down, with her hands in her pockets, the right fingering the butt of the pistol concealed there for reassurance Rhana made a beeline for Gavorn's apartment.

Gavorn had gone to Afterlife to collect his payment from Aria,and as per usual he would meet Rhana at his apartment to give her her share.

It was an arrangement that had worked out well so far, both of them got their pay and Rhana kept the low profile she had been maintaining.

It was about halfway to Gavorn's apartment, on the far side of the market area from Afterlife that she first noticed the shadowed figure moving in an alley adjoining the one she was using, as with the Vorcha she took care not to react in an obvious fashion, instead she began casting her gaze along the ends of other alleyways that adjoined the one she was in looking for more movement...

There...up ahead of where she was another shadowy figure could just be made out, carefully turning her head slightly and moving her eyes to allow her to look behind herself with a minimum of head movement Rhana caught sight of the first figure once more along with a metallic glint that could only be a weapon in it's hands.

That settled the argument real fast.

There was no doubt those following her were a threat, carefully slipping the pistol out of her M-11 Suppressor that was technically illegal for civilian use although that was irrelevant in a place like Omega...Rhana addressed her stalkers in what she hoped was a strong and clear voice.

"I know you're following me," Rhana told those who were doing just that as she brandished her pistol threateningly "Leave me alone and you won't get hurt."

Turning to face the figure behind her Rhana caught sight of a slender female figure in jet black armour just in time to watch her fade into invisibility.

Tactical cloak, Rhana though, dread like acid in her gut Fuck.

A flicker of distortion in the air like heat haze in front of her was all the warning Rhana had before an invisible fist to the abdomen doubled her up in pain, the silenced pistol dropped from her hands with a clatter before she felt something sharp prick the skin of her neck.

Whatever had pricked her neck had obviously injected a substance of some kind because within seconds Rhana began to feel warm under the ears and her mind became sluggish as sounds became muted and her knees gave way beneath her, she felt somebody catch her under the shoulders and pick her up.

As her consciousness faded Rhana caught sight of a human male in his early thirties briefly before she was slung over his shoulder then all she could see was his ass as her vision began to grey out at the edges.

An instant later the sound of a loud bang pierced through her fogged awareness and the world was spinning as something warm, wet and sticky and smelling like iron splattered onto her face and hair and she found herself lying face down on top of the motionless form of the man who had picked her up.

Before the last of her consciousness faded Rhana was able to make out the blurred form of a figure in an Alliance hardsuit walking toward her.


As Rhana regained consciousness the first thing she became aware of was that she was lying on a soft bed and she could hear Gavorn talking with somebody in the next room, as she opened her eyes she realised that it was Gavorn's bed.

The sound of voices in the next room soon made it clear that Gavorn was engaged in a heated discussion with somebody.

"Gavorn, I appreciate that you want to protect her but these people won't stop coming after her," the other person, clearly a human male stated "this isn't the first time they've tried this either, other human biotics have also been attacked."

"No offence to you Major Hackett but I get the feeling that Rhana ran from your people for a reason," Gavorn insisted "I seriously doubt she wants to go back."
"I appreciate you protecting me Gavorn," Rhana told her turian friend as she entered the room, catching sight of the battle hardened human male who was present along with Gavorn "but how about you let me decide for myself what I want to do...after I hear the Major out first."

"Okay," the human male, obviously Major Hackett agreed as he began to relate the relevant facts "the people who attacked you as best we can determine work for an as yet unnamed group that has been abducting biotics on and off, particularly human biotics for the past five years along with other humans who display abilities of apparent interest to them. This group has also been tenuously linked to various other activites such as extortion of government officials and funding of anti alien hate groups such as the Terra Firma movement and the Terran Fraternity as well as a number of clandestine labs we have found that experimented on sentient test subjects."

"Okay, so this group is bad news," Rhana surmised "and they have apparently taken an interest in me, so where did this group come from."

"Nobody knows for certain as of yet," Hackett noted tiredly "but a number of their operatives have been identified as former members of a mercenary company that was employed by the Alliance during the First Contact War for Black Ops missions under the joint leadership of Jack Harper, Eva Core' and Ben Hislop...Hell Hound Company they were called. For example, the woman in the black armour was an operative of theirs known only as Agent Shadow who was also active with this mercenary group during the occupation of Shanxi, aside from her alias and the appearance of her armour we only know that she uses a tactical cloak, favours close combat and possesses nearly limitless regenerative abilities...she's human but not your typical human. Those who've seen her in action are convinced that she's nearly unkillable."

"And you think that this Black Ops group went bad?"

"That is a distinct possibility," Hackett admitted.

"And you can protect me from them?"

"So far they have only gone after easy targets and with us you wouldn't be an easy target any more."

"And you aren't going to send me to some other biotic hell-hole that will make me think I'd be better of with the Hell Hounds?"

"We learned our lesson about that," Hackett noted grimly "the Turians are still pissed about one of their top former officers ending up dead, Conatix is neck deep in personal injury and industrial manslaughter lawsuits, facing bankruptcy within a solar year if things don't change drastically for them and Baat training has been permanently shut down."

"And what would I do?"

"Well, I know a scientist researching biotics and university Professor in mass effect theory who could use a good research assistant."


It took some more convincing on Hackett's part...a good half hour's worth before Rhana decided for certain that she would go with Hackett's people, in the end she only agreed because Gavorn relented that it was the safest thing for her.

Nearly four hours after this Rhana sat in the medbay of the Alliance frigate SSV Long Tan with an Alliance physician giving her a full medical workup, the doctor had narrowed her eyes slightly as she took note of the old injury to Rhana's hand and arm...apparently it had healed well enough to not need further treatment but not as well as it could have.

Apparently her heart showed signs of having been under excessive stress as well, and when Rhana had revealed that her menstrual cycle had stopped for a full three months during Baat training with no signs of a possible pregnancy the doctor examining her had been nonplussed.

In female biotics spontaneous cessation of the menstrual cycle without a pregnancy was a sure sign of undernourished biotic abilities, male biotic tended to suffer erectile dysfunction when in the same situation health wise.

Immediately after learning this the doctor in question, Karin Chakwas was her name apparently...had fetched a syringe and asked Rhana to hold out her arm for a blood sample, explaining that a blood test was needed to check that her immune system was working properly

From her tone Rhana suspected that Chakwas feared that it wasn't.

"They never should have entrusted children to those people," Chakwas had noted with obvious disdain for those who would treat a child this way.

But what was the most worrying to both of them was the fact that neurological deterioration was evident where Rhana's L2 implant interfaced with her central nervous system, it wasn't endangering her life yet but it would in the future if something wasn't done to rectify the situation.

Chakwas had told her that it was still safe to use her biotic abilities for now but that she needed to be careful how hard she pushed them, never to the point of anything more than mild discomfort and never during her L2 migraines.

The exam had highlighted some worrying health problems but Chakwas had been nice, she had an excellent bedside manner and a very professional outlook, and after that Rhana had been introduced to Professor David Chambers.

Chambers was passionate, driven and highly intelligent and he possessed a great deal of compassion.

Rhana had liked him immediately.

Martin Burns on the other hand was an asshole.

Where Rhana had taken an instant liking to Chakwas and Chambers she had taken an instant dislike to Burns, he was arrogant, cut corners and lacked empathy and apparently it had been his idea to rush the L2 biotic implants into service despite the fact that they hadn't been fully tested and weren't fully assured to be safe.

The selfsame model of implant that was frying Rhana's brain and giving her migraines.

Gee, thanks for nothing dickhead, Rhana had thought when she had learned that.

But Chambers had assured her that she would not have to deal with Burns most of the time as she would be working with Chambers directly, and hopefully she would get a solution to her L2 problem out of the deal.



She had thought that she was going to die, when the house had collapsed on top of her and her dead mother Carrie had been sure that this was the end and in truth she had longed for death until that final moment when she had panicked, her will to live apparently not completely gone.

In that moment the world around her had shifted into high speed becoming an indistinguishable blur as she felt herself alternately watching the blurring world around her and being jostled this way and that by it.

She had felt the timbers of the house fall on her as though shot down at her by a cannon yet strangely they did her no harm, she had been there less that an eyeblink from her point of view and then something had removed the debris from on top of her so fast that it seemed to explode off of her then she had been violently (from her point of view) yanked out of it and zipped into a canvas bag, then she was being jostled around in the dark.

The jostling had stopped for what seemed like a fraction of a second as she felt herself lying on a cold metal surface in the bag, then the bag was unzipped and ripped away, her nightdress and underwear quickly followed in a blinding blur leaving her completely naked, then something that seemed to be a sheet was placed over her as something else was tied around the big toe of her right foot.

An eyeblink later the sheet was removed and she caught a flash of what seemed like a blade of some kind, a momentary panic set it and the world sped up more, next thing she knew she was dressed again in her nightdress (except it had been washed clean and mended), unharmed and lying in a dark, confined space that smelled of mold and dirt and the world seemed to be moving at normal speed again.

Carrie could hear the muffled sounds of what seemed to be footfalls above her, a creaking of timber also as she tried to sit up and hit her head on something hard and wooden and padded with fabric.

It was at that moment that Carrie realised what she was in...a coffin.

Carrie felt panic rising in her chest...her powers flaring into life as she desperately tried to blast her way free, she heard the lid of the coffin crack, heard the earth shift but that was not enough to free her and she felt light headed from just that like she was about to pass out from the strain.

Of course...she'd nearly died.

Apparently others thought she had died or had thought that she deserved to be buried alive...she supposed that either was possible after what she had done.

Carrie herself thought that she deserved such a fate, she had killed so many when she lost control of herself, too many to keep track of...even her own mother.

I'm sorry, she thought in despair and self loathing as she wept in shame I'm so sorry.

But they had driven her to it, with all of the abuse over so many years...all she had ever wanted was to be loved and accepted instead she was scorned and rejected for a reason as stupid as whose daughter she happened to be.

But still she wanted to live despite being currently too weak to free herself.

Carrie felt so helpless and desperate, memories of the closet her mother (controlling bitch that she was) had locked her in to pray for sins that weren't really sins at all (such as talking with a boy for longer than her crazy mother felt she should) for hours or sometimes days flashed through her panicked mind.

The selfsame closet that had left her with a crippling case of claustrophobia from being locked in there so often...nobody deserved to have that happen to them, she had felt like an animal trapped in there.

But this was worse...oh it was so much worse.

I'm dead Carrie thought in suffocating despair I'm dead and this is hell.

In soul shattering terror Carrie pounded on the lid above her and screamed herself hoarse in desperation as she futilely tried to claw her way out tearing the padded lining of the coffin lid to shreds in the process.

Her knuckles bruised, her fingernails ragged, her cheeks soaked with tears of guilt, despair and terror, she was going to die here, alone and forgotten and she knew that after the nightmare at prom that was what she deserved.

But still she so desperately wanted to live, to truly live like she had never gotten to do before.

And so she pounded and screamed and clawed at the lid and threw what little power she had at the lid of the coffin until she couldn't anymore.

Her despair in that moment as her strength failed her was probably the single most wretched thing Carrie had ever felt but even then her will to live still wouldn't leave her.

Please...I'm sorry, please just let me live, I'll do anything...ANYTHING.

Just a second chance, that was all she wanted.

If you let me live I swear I'll find a way to make it right.

That was when the world blurred into high speed again.


July 1st 2169, Alliance Research and Development; Arcturus Station.

Project Director Martin Burns rubbed at his right temple with the tips of his fingers to relieve the tension headache that was starting there as he listened to the report on the side effects that were still emerging from the L2 biotic implants that he had headed development for.

"So that is the situation as it stands Project Director Burns," Professor David Chambers told the flustered project director in no uncertain terms "did I not say that the L2 design was not yet ready for service? And yet you insisted on rushing it into service anyway and now many biotic children are paying the price for your lack of patience."

"Some of those kids are nearly crippled," Major Steven Hackett pointed out as he finally spoke up in the meeting "And those that aren't may find themselves dealing with a life threatening distraction due to those side effects should they choose to serve in the Alliance Navy. I agree with Professor Chambers."

"Chambers was talking nearly ten years for an improvement over the L1s," Burns sighed as he folded his hands in front of him "we didn't have that kind of time."

"Yes, I recall you saying something to that effect Project Director," Chambers recalled in a neutral tone, mirroring Burn's pose with his hands "and now look where we are. Now we really don't have that kind of time to find a safer alternative to the L2s."

"The Asari are naturally biotic and as such they don't need a biotic implant...though they still sometimes use amp interfaces," Hackett suggested "maybe we could talk the Asari consulate into sharing some information on the physiology of their people. Learning more about the neural structure of such a natural biotic might give us an idea of where to start development of an implant that is safe for use."

Professor Chambers shook his head.

"Asari physiology is too different from ours, adapting an amp interface is one thing but the asari biotic lobe and any implant based off of it is incompatible with human physiology, if we were to base an implant for humans off of the biotic lobe of a natural biotic, the natural biotic in question would have to be a human."

"How many humans do we know of who are naturally biotic?" Hackett asked.

"I know of one," Director Burns murmured, his face taking on a thoughtful look as an idea occurred to him "one you all would have heard of. The first human biotic, Carrie White. She was a natural biotic just like the Asari are, and just like them she didn't need an implant...naturally she too would have had a biotic lobe, one compatible with human physiology."

"She's been dead for over a hundred and fifty years," Chambers pointed out "what would be left to study?"

"Have you read her autopsy report?"

"I have."

"Then you know that the surgical instruments of the medical examiners couldn't pierce her skin," Burns clarified "what does that sound like to you?"

"Biotic stasis now that you mention it," Chambers remarked in deep thought "it didn't occur to me because biotic stasis normally only lasts a few minutes...she must have been truly powerful."

"That is my thought as well, when she was buried she wasn't actually dead...rather she was in stasis and still alive."

"Surely you're not suggesting she might still be alive now?" Hackett remarked in disbelief "as powerful as she was that does stretch belief."

"It's theoretically possible if she was powerful enough," Chamber's pointed out "after all stasis works by distorting time...if she could distort it enough a century and a half might be more like a minute and a half to her."

"Possible but unlikely," Burns clarified "and that's probably for the best, after all who wants to wake a monster like that into the modern age?"

"She wasn't a monster Burns," Chambers reprimanded his colleague "she was just a girl who was driven insane by the cruelty of those around her. Regardless, even though she is most likely dead it is likely that a residual stasis field has preserved her body...perhaps well enough to study."

"Hasn't she suffered enough?" Hackett asked the other two "must we violate her in death?"

"I don't like it either," Chambers noted solemnly "Carrie suffered terribly in life due to the abuse inflicted upon her by her peers and even her own mother. Who are we to further victimise her in death? But we're out of options and thanks to Burns' blunder out of time and in the unlikely event that she is alive we may actually be saving her life."

"I promise that the study of Miss White's remains, should I receive permission to go ahead, will be conducted as respectfully as possible," Burns assured the Major, though the reluctance was clear in his voice.

"And should she still be alive after all this time," Chambers added "I will do everything in my power to help her, we may get the chance to give one of the greatest tragedies in the history of our world a happy ending, or at least a second chance."

"I suppose that at least makes this tolerable," Hackett noted after a considerable pause "it's still a long shot though, her being alive an even longer one."

"Do you have a better idea?" Burns asked rhetorically "or shall we try mine?"

Hackett nodded briefly, finding himself unable to debate the fact that viable ideas were in scant supply at the moment, and they did need an alternative to those flawed L2s ASAP.

"I'll see what I can do about obtaining authorisation to exhume Miss White's grave."


Chamberlain Cemetery August 11th 2169.

Professor Chambers glanced briefly at his young assistant Rhana Wills as the two observed the exhumation of Carrietta Natalie White's grave, ensuring that the workmen involved didn't damage the casket or the body inside.

This was somewhat ironic seeing as no one had ever shown poor Carrie this degree of respect when she was alive.

As the last of the soil was removed from the top of the coffin Chambers appraised the condition of the casket with a critical eye.

"Judging from this crack in the lid," Chambers noted "I'd say that she was definitely still alive when they buried her, it's unlikely that she'd still be alive now though."

"Unlikely but still possible," Rhana noted with a shrug.

"Theoretically," Chambers clarified "theoretically possible, the crack in the headstone could have been from anything. After all I remember reading how a particularly depraved individual with no respect for the dead spray painted 'Carrie White burns in hell' on her headstone a few months after her supposed death...if you ask me people like that should be locked up. However, the crack in the coffin lid confirms our suspicions of her still being alive at the time of her burial.."

"Agreed," Rhana nodded in assent as the two of them watched the workmen attach the crane to the coffin and begin lifting it out of the grave and into the waiting skytruck "I don't blame Carrie one bit for Black Prom."

"Neither do truly wasn't her fault," Chambers agreed as he and Rhana helped secure the tie down straps that would keep the coffin secure for transport "Carrie probably blamed herself though, but it's like Sue Snell said 'you can only push a person so far before they break' and you've seen that first hand."

"Yeah," Rhana agreed "racist asshole that Vyrnnus was-my arm still aches on cold mornings."

"I never cared much for the man," Chambers remarked dryly "he always came across as callous and cruel to me."

"He was definitely that, but enough about him," Rhana agreed "I'll bet you fifty credits that when we open that coffin the interior lining is shredded and her knuckles covered in bruises."

"I'm not taking that bet, I'd lose for sure," Chambers solemnly rebuffed the proposal of his young lab assistant "besides...making that particular bet seems a little tasteless to me."

"True," Rhana agreed, looking slightly guilty for suggesting it as she shrugged it off.

Finishing the job of securing the coffin for transport the two climbed out of the skytruck and closed the rear doors as the vehicle began moving off.

The skytruck would transport Miss White's coffin to their research facility in New York, Chambers and Wills would follow in a skycar.

"I wonder how Kaidan is these days," Rhana remarked thoughtfully "I hope he's okay...I still feel bad about what I said to him."


Carrie didn't know what was happening exactly but for some reason the earth seemed to be gone from on top of her coffin, and the coffin seemed to be moving, jostling her around violently.

The world was still blurring by at insane speeds and the jostling lasted only a fraction of a second before her coffin came to rest again, but she was slightly calmer now and the world wasn't moving as fast as it had been a minute ago...a minute from her point of view that was.

There was light, stuttering, flickering but there...shining in through the crack in her coffin, she began to reach for it as a drowning woman reaches for a rope.

The world was still blurring past.

She had no idea how long it had been in the rest of the world...with how fast the world had been moving around her it could have been years or even decades.

Maybe the world had forgotten what she'd done.

As if I'd be that lucky, Carrie chastised herself for thinking such ridiculous thoughts the world is never going to forgive what I did.

That was probably for the best Carrie thought, because she would never forgive herself either.


The Alliance Parliamentary Institute for Transhuman Studies, New York August 14th 2169.

Professor David Chambers carefully directed the men pushing the antigravity sled bearing Carrie White's coffin into the examination room, fussing over proceedings the whole time.

"Be careful," he told the man pushing the sled "she is very valuable to the Alliance."

"I know Doc," the labourer in question replied "trust me, and I know the poor girl got shafted when she was alive too."

"She was indeed treated unjustly," Chambers agreed " but at least this way her tragic death might actually count for something."

"I'm not so sure," the labourer replied as he finished moving the casket to where Chambers had indicated "after all this time you'll most likely not have much to study besides some dusty old bones. Even with her having been a natural biotic what can you hope to learn from that?"

"Residual stasis fields do tend to preserve bodies."

The labourer-Antonio shrugged non-committally.

"If you say so-was there anything else you needed Doc?"

"No, that will be all thank you Antonio."


Rhana Wills walked quickly toward the examination room that currently housed Carrie White's coffin in a state of flustered urgency.

I'm late-I'm late. Dammit I'm late, stupid migraine.

The painkillers she had taken were finally starting to take effect however and the roaring pounding headache reminiscent of the mother of all hangovers that she had been suffering from before had faded to a dull ache and she was feeling, if not lively at least somewhat less dead.

"Doc's new pet project has arrived," Antonio told her as she passed him.

"Thanks Antonio," Rhana told the workman as she breezed past him, wincing at the dull throb in her head as she reached out and touched the glowing green holographic control to open the door.

"Migraine again?" Antonio asked sympathetically.

"Yep," Rhana confirmed as the door slid up with a hiss of hydraulics "you can see why I don't drink, I already know what a hangover feels like thank you very much."

"That would indeed destroy any enjoyment," Professor Chambers agreed as he overheard the conversation from inside "though from what I've heard a regular hangover does that just fine."

"That it does" Rhana conceded as she put on her lab coat, rubber gloves, hair net and surgical mask "Sorry I'm late Professor."

"L2 Symptoms?"


"My condolences," Chambers told Wills, sympathy clear in his voice "We're ready to begin."

Working carefully the two pried the lid of the coffin loose, breaking the seal that had built up from the century and a half plus that the casket had spent underground, once the lid was loose enough Chambers grasped the edge securely.

"Brace yourself," he warned Rhana "a residual stasis field has probably preserved the body, but she is still unlikely to be looking her best...some decomposition will likely still be evident."

Once Rhana nodded that she was prepared for whatever gruesome sight awaited Chambers carefully opened the lid of the coffin.

What they saw inside the coffin was not what they were expecting though.

"Well," Rhana remarked once she found her voice again "She's-a lot easier on the eyes than I expected."


David Chambers had seen many strange and unexpected things in his time but this though theoretically possible was still something he had considered most unlikely.

The first thing he noticed when the coffin lid was opened was that the interior lining of the coffin was indeed shredded and Carrie's knuckles were bruised quite severely, her fingernails were also quite ragged from clawing at the lid.

Glad I didn't make that bet, Chambers thought wryly as he took note of this.

The second thing he noticed was that she was not just preserved but perfectly fresh as though she had died just minutes ago...or was still alive and merely close to death.

"I don't believe it," he declared quietly as he reached down and lightly touched the supposedly dead girl's cheek with a gloved hand.

Her still intact cheek, no signs of decomposition whatsoever.

"She's perfectly preserved," Rhana noted in awed surprise "if her eyes weren't open I'd swear that she was just sleeping."

Chambers scanned the dead? girl with his omni tool.

"Preservation of the corpse...if she is indeed a corpse...isn't due to saponification of her tissues which would have explained her being this well preserved but I'm not detecting any signs of life-not that stasis allows detection of life signs," he noted in mild surprise as a frown creased his brow "if the body was preserved by a residual stasis field then preservation wouldn't be total...some decomposition would still be in evidence unless..."

"Unless what?" Rhana asked, her brow furrowing in confusion "you're not suggesting what I think you're suggesting are you?"

"It is theoretically possible," Chambers pointed out then he proceeded to concede "theoretically...the chances of it actually happening are less than one percent...but there's one way to know for certain."

"What do you need?" Rhana asked.

"A medical scanner capable of time lapse imaging," Chambers told Rhana "And Antonio's help to move her to the examination table."


With Antonio's help they managed to move Carrie from her coffin to the examination table...after he got over his surprise at Carrie's non decayed state that is while Rhana fetched the medical scanner.

Then Chambers began carefully cutting the tattered remains of Carrie's nightdress off of her with a pair of scissors and then dressing her in a clean white hospital gown.

Needless to say the need for an extra pair of hands was not due to Carrie's weight as she was quite small and didn't weigh much, but picking up a corpse bridal style when it has gone into full rigor mortis is next to impossible...the same was also true of a living person in biotic stasis due to the rigidity created by the fact that time was moving much slower for the person in stasis.

Once Carrie was undressed and redressed he began setting up the medical scanner to take time lapse x-ray images of Carrie's heart.

"Okay," Chambers told Rhana as he turned the device on "I've set the medical scanner to record an image of her heart each hour for the next forty eight hours, If she does still have a heartbeat that is currently slowed by temporal distortion this should pick it up."

"Check again in forty eight hours," Rhana noted with a small nod.

"In case she's dead after all..."

Chambers reached down and gently closed Carrie's eyes.


As Carrie lay on the surface that she had been moved onto within what seemed like an eyeblink to her she couldn't help noticing that the world was beginning to slow down again, or seemed to be...with her eyelids having been forced closed it was hard to tell.

She opened her eyes again, to her it was just a second, in reality it took a full ten hours as it was in the rest of the world, each heartbeat took more like fifteen hours.

Regardless, she was most definitely alive and beginning to emerge from stasis.

So say the enkindlers.

And into an age of great turmoil shall be born one who possesses the power to bend reality itself.

Broken by darkness and pain, this one shall be driven to kill and in shame shall seek her own destruction but this one shall live and shall sleep the sleep of the ages.

This one shall awaken into a new age, one in which her tribe takes it's first steps into the heavens and forgiven for her sins this one shall be reforged in the light.

This one shall warn of coming destruction but shall be ignored, mocked and ridiculed by those who rule until a dark harvest looms for all.

When this time comes this one shall stand against the onslaught, she shall unite all tribes under one banner and together they shall fight back against the darkness.

A shepherd for all tribes.

So say the enkindlers.

Translated from the Hanar religious text 'The Book of Enlightenment' final volume, one hundred and thirty second verse 'The Final Days'.