I Remember Me
I Remember Me
Shepard sighed as he stepped out of the elevator, "They've got the most advanced technology for a silly thing like traffic control.. and yet, they still use primitive elevators.. someone explain this for me.." he said as he stretched abit.
Suddenly, his radio started making the usual static noise it always made before anyone was going to speak through it, "Commander Shepard? Sorry to bother you, this is Lieutenant Girard down in the docking bay. There's a woman here who uh.. She was rescued from Batarian slavers a few weeks ago. She's from Mindoir. I guess she was taken in the raid on your town."
Shepard frowned sadly, "I'll be right there."
"Thank you Commander.. sorry to bother you with this, but we figured you might be able to talk to her.. since you went through the same thing, the raid."
"Are you alright Commander?" Ashley asked sadly, she had heard about that raid.. she also heard Shepard's entire family was wiped out during the raid.
Shepard sighed as he turned back to the elevator, "I just realised.."
"Yes..?" Ashley asked softly.
"We can't get up there without this elevator.." he muttered, "Nothing's ever easy.. is it?" he sighed as he pushed the 'up' button again. Both Ashley and Liara gave each other a confused look as the doors closed yet again.
"Commander, glad to see you." Girard said as he saluted.
"Just tell me where she is." Shepard said quickly.
"Behind those shipping crates.. I've got a sniper ready but I don't think we'll need him.. she's only a threat to herself."
Shepard raised an eyebrow, "I'll decide whether she's dangerous or not."
"Y-Yes sir.. of course sir.." Girard apologised quickly as he reached into his pocket, "We need her to take this sedative.. but we can't get close enough to her.."
Shepard rolled his eyes, "Give me that.." he muttered as he snatched the syringe from Girard's fingers, "It's only a little girl.. all it takes is some clever thinking."
"Uh.. Good luck Commander!" Girard called after him.
"S-Stop! What do you.. What are you?" the girl asked as she pointed the gun at Shepard as he rounded the corner.
Shepard gave her an arrogant look, "First, don't point that at me. Second, I'm Commander Shepard, Systems Alliance.. what's your name?"
"Animals don't have names, the masters put their symboles on her. Hot metal all over her back.. she screams when they do it.." she said nervously.
Shepard rolled his eyes, "I don't want to hear what those bastards called you. I want your name. The one you were born with."
"Talitha.. they call her that.. she.. she doesn't remember the rest.." she said softly as she rubbed some sweat off her forehead, "Leave her alone.."
He was getting impatient now, "I'm going to take a step towards you now." he said, "...okay?" he added quickly.
"No! She's no good! Don't want to be handled again!" she screeched, pointing the gun at him again.
"Relax, we're just talking." Shepard said as he took another step forward.
"She doesn't want.. don't touch her!" she screamed, trying to back off, but she quickly found out she couldn't, "Get away from her!"
"Okay, fine.." he huffed, taking a step backwards, "What's the last thing you remember from Mindoir?"
"Fire.. smoke, smells of burning meat... animals screaming as the masters cage them.. and put the metal to their backs.. put the wires in their brain.." she spoke again before looking around her cautiously, "She pretends to be dead.. dead animals can't work.. but they know! She hopes they'll leave but they put her in a pen.. She..she didn't fight.."
Shepard could feel Ashley and Liara's eyes burn holes into his back, he knew this would happen.. they'd hear this girl talk about it, and immediately feel sorry for him.. he had to end this quickly and move on with his life.
"They ounumbered you, there was no way you could've fought them, you were only a child, cooperation was the only way you could survive,", he mentally slapped himself when he realised she never had proper education.. she probably didn't even understand what some of his words meant, "What I mean is.. there were more of them than you could've handled.. you weren't wrong to just go with them without fighting back."
"She wants to believe that.." Talitha whispered softly, hugging herself, "But.. mommy and daddy.. they fought... they fought for her.. daddy... he's melting..." she cried as she grabbed onto her forehead, "Can she stop remembering now, please?"
Shepard looked down at the floor for a moment, "I'm going to leave you alone for a bit.. alright?"
"Will you let her die? Please.. let her..." she whispered softly as Shepard turned around to leave again.
"What now Commander?" Liara asked, uncertain if she should ask him about how he was feeling.
Shepard completely ignored her and walked straight back to Girard, "This isn't working, if she wants to die, let her.. it's her choice."
"Commander!" Ashley called in shock, "How can you say that?"
"It's only a matter of time before she hurts someone, put her down, now." he spoke harshly at Girard.
"I really don't think that's necessary Commander! She's only a threat to herself!" Girard called desperately, "I'm willing to wait her out."
"Lieutenant.. I gave you an order," Shepard said as he took an intimidating step forward, "So do as I say, and put her down!"
"Permission to speak freely sir?" Ashley asked quickly, Shepard glanced over his shoulder and nodded, "I sincerely believe she can be fixed sir, I don't think you should give up on her yet."
Lieutenant Girard looked sadly at him, it was obvious he really didn't want to shoot that girl.. but sometimes, it was better for everyone to just let someone die.
Shepard looked down at the floor for a while, he remembered how he felt when he heard his parents had died.. that he and only two others had made it out of the raid alive.. the rest of his town was either killed, or taken by Slavers.. he remembered how they looked at him then, they'd expected him to snap.. like the other two did, but he didn't.. all he could do was stare blankly at them.
"Commander?" Liara asked softly, "If I may.. I believe Chief Williams is right, sir.."
He looked back at Ashley again, she had a really determined look on her face.. if he didn't listen to her now.. he was was gonna hear it for the rest of their journey.
Shepard snorted, "Fine." he said before abrubtly turning around and heading back to the container.
Girard gave Ashley and Liara a thankful look before looking back at Shepard as he rounded the corner again.
"Get away from her.." Talitha hissed, angry about the fact that he had returned.. she just wanted to be alone.. just wanted to die, why wouldn't anyone let her?
"I was on Mindoir during the raid, I lost my parents there." Shepard said as he cautiously took a closer step towards her.
"Liar! You get hit for lying! Bad animal! You're a bad animal! Bad animals have to sleep.. need to be punished.." Talitha whispered as she looked around her fearfully until her eyes finally locked with Shepard's again, "Why are you alive? Why aren't you.. why aren't you like her? Broken.. Only fit to carry..!" she screamed angerly as she pointed the gun at his face.
He didn't even flinch when the end of the gun touched his forehead, he could hear Ashley gasp softly from where she was standing though..
"Who says I'm not?" he asked gingerly, "Some say I am broken.. I kill aliens for a living, half of the time, I don't even feel anything when I do it."
Talitha slowly moved her gun away again, "Just like the animals that killed master..," she whispered, "You are broken.. but you don't dig.. you don't carry.. you...stand up.. she wishes she could stand up.."
Shepard slowly took another step towards her, but she just warped right back into her fearful self, "Please don't touch her.. she's dirty.. you'll catch it.." she whispered softly.
He huffed, "I've caught it thirteen years ago," he said bitterly as he grabbed her arm, she screamed fearfully as she tried to break free.. she raised her gun up at him again, but he quickly grabbed that arm aswel, making her drop the gun.
"N-No! She doesn't want-! No.. don't touch her!", Shepard quickly managed to wrap both her arms around her back and pushed her into the crate, "Sorry kid.." he said as he pulled out the syringe.
"No! Ow!" she cried desperately as he shot the sedative straight into her right arm, he loosened his grip slightly as he pulled the syringe out again, giving her a chance to break free, "She doesn't want to go back!"
"You're going to a place where they can help you." Shepard said as he took a step backwards, giving her some space.
"She doesn't like needles.. the masters made her sleep..a lot.. she didn't want to sleep, but they made her.."
Shepard continued to stare at her, waiting for her to pass out.
"It hurts when she.. when I...remember me.. but she wants to.. remember.." she managed to say before the sedative began to work and she fell to the ground.
"Thank you again," Lieutenant Girard said as he saluted Ashley, "I don't know what I would've done if I had to..," he admitted sadly as he glanced over at the sniper, "I cannot thank you enough."
Ashley shook her head, "You should thank the Commander.. he managed to get the sedative in her." she smiled as she glanced over at him, she frowned slightly when she noticed him standing all the way up the ramp, right at the spot where the Keeper used to stand, he seemed to just stare off into nothingness.
Lieutenant Girard bent down slowly and lifted Talitha in his arms, "I'll get her the help she needs.. would you let the Commander know how grateful I am for his help?" Ashley nodded absently.
"I'm glad this is over..," Liara said with a sigh, "There's something I don't understand, why did Shepard want to let her die? Is it something humans usually do?" she asked Ashley.
Ashley grunted, "Of course not.." she huffed as she walked up the ramp, Liara followed shortly after her.
"Commander?" Ashley asked softly as she reached him, "Lieutenant Girard wanted me to thank you for him."
He continued to stare down at the Citadel below him, "It's not like I had much of a choice.." he mused gingerly.
Ashley took a deep breath, "Sir.. are you alright?", she frowned deeply when she noticed him staring down at his feet now.
Finally, he looked up at her and smiled sadly, "It's hard.." He started, as he walked past her and Liara, back to the Normandy,
"When I remember... me."
This was originally going to be another Chapter for Tales of the Normandy, but as people who read a few chapters know; It's supposed to be a funny fic with funny oneshots, this was supposed to have been one of them.
See, I was watching a video the other day about this part of the game, and Shepard was basically acting like a real ass, saying things like "I'M fine, thanks for asking." I LOL'ed at that because of the way he said it, and figured I could twist it into a funny direction aswel, but when I actually got to Talitha's dialogue, I couldn't do it anymore.. it's so sad when you think about it. :( I'd feel like a real jerk if I would've made it into a funny story.
But, since I was already halfway through, I decided to just finish it, edited some of the funny and mean things out and replace them by sad things.
Here's the outcome of it.. I hope people like it. :P Please tell me what you think.