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«0.00: Arcturus Station: Command Deck: Executive Board Room»

«or Proving Grounds»






USERNAME: AndersonD.

PASSWORD: ••••••
















SERVICE NO.: 5923-AC-2826


DATE OF BIRTH: April 11, 2154

PLACE OF BIRTH: New York City, New York, United States of America, Earth, Sol System

HEIGHT: 5'11"

WEIGHT: 183 lbs.




John Shepard was born on April 11, 2154 on Earth. He was first recorded as being born in St. Michael's Hospital and given up for adoption afterwards. He was seen nearly 5 years later being raised on the streets in one of many of New York's gangs, the Ten Street Reds. Information during this time is incomplete and unsure.

When John was only 10 years of age, he managed to board one of the many colonial ships heading towards new worlds, the MSV Scorpio, heading to the colony on Mindoir.

In 2167, Batarian slavers, slaughtering most of the colonists and taking many of the survivors as slaves, raided the colony of Mindoir. An Alliance team from the SSV Einstein was sent to drive them off, but due to the heavy defenses in place, they could not reach many of colonists in time.

John, age 13, somehow managed to escape from the slavers and was picked up by a passing Alliance patrol, led by the now Executive Officer of the SSV Kilimanjaro, Hannah Shepard. It is unclear how Shepard managed to elude the slavers, as he is reluctant/hesitant to talk of it.

It should be noted that many of the survivors claimed to have seen a young child grab a gun and kill several of the slavers. John was found with a gun in his hand when Hannah Shepard picked him up.

Hannah Shepard later adopted John as her own son. John spent the rest of his young adult life aboard starships and stations as his adoptive parents were transferred from posting to posting.

It should be noted that he had problems adjusting, which mainly showed up during his schooling. One incident to be noted was during the lunch period. Witnesses say that the quarterback of the local football team along with three other of his friends began teasing him. When John retaliated, the entire football team became involved, numbering in around 30 or so teenagers.

What happened next is still debatable as there are no trustworthy accounts of what happened. What we do know is that all 30 members of the football team sustained heavy injuries, mainly ranging from broken arms and legs to being completely unconscious. John was unharmed, quietly finishing his lunch when the teachers found him.

There were no more incidents to speak of afterwards.

On his 18th birthday, in 2172, he enlisted into the Alliance Military.


During his boot camp, then Gunnery Chief Harlan Ellison put his name forward to become a member of the N7 Special Forces. Upon graduating from the N7 Special Forces program, Shepard's first major posting was on Elysium in 2175 as a Serviceman 2nd Class under the command of Major Troy Paris, upon the Major's request.

In 2176, a large force of mercenaries and pirates attacked Elysium in what would be known as the Skyllian Blitz.

Shepard was ashore during this time and managed to rally the ground forces of the settlement and fought off wave after wave of raiders. Eyewitnesses claim that one time, he single handedly fought off the raiders after a breach in the wall, to which he also single handedly defended and sealed.

After the battle, Shepard was awarded the Star of Terra for his heroism and bravery, and was promoted to Chief. It is still unknown what happened to Major Paris, though it is reported that he was shot by a stray bullet and killed.

In 2177, the Alliance managed to track several pirates to the moon of Torfan, where a large Batarian underground base was stationed. The Alliance fleet began its assault on Torfan, though the assault was essentially wasted on the surface. Shepard, however, brought with him a corps of elite ground troops (most of which were men and women who defended Elysium) and plunged into the heart of the enemy base.

Over 75% of his corps was killed in the close-quarters of the base, but he managed to penetrate the heart of the enemy base. No slaver made it out of Torfan alive. For his deeds, Shepard was promoted to Lieutenant Commander.

In 2178, all contact was lost with the pioneer team on Akuze. Shepard was sent with a team of 50 marines to investigate and look for survivors.

During the night, thresher maws suddenly attacked the team. Since this was the first time in Alliance history that any have, the team had no idea what they were getting into. The team was effectively wiped out.

The Alliance responded to a distress signal 2 days after the incident. The team sent in discovered a severely wounded Shepard. The team was then attacked by a thresher maw, which they were able to kill.

After nearly a year of intensive care (due to massive amounts of acid corroding his body), Shepard was ready for active duty again. He was sent to take down a rogue biotic with L2 implants that was holding a family hostage. During this mission, Shepard showed brash and uncontrolled actions that deemed him a danger to himself and others.

Shepard was sent to Dr. Helena Chakwas for a psychological evaluation. Her report is posted below, which, according to Chakwas, shows that Shepard is more than ready for active duty.

In 2183, he was selected to join the crew of the Normandy.


My first thoughts of Commander John Shepard when he first walked into my office for his psychological evaluation, was that of a reclusive, and harsh soldier. I had read his particularly short history (record breaking even, given what we know and don't know of him), and was almost determined to find out more about him. He was intriguing.

I was largely unsuccessful.

He only states what is already common knowledge and any attempts on my part to learn otherwise is met with failure. The Commander seems to genuinely not want to talk about his past. Whether this is because of trauma or because he finds it funny to impede my efforts, I haven't been able to distinguish.

Shepard does, however, have a strange sense of humor. His jokes mainly come from overuse of sarcasm, though he does seem to like to poke fun at people's flaws. Whether he does this intentionally to make himself feel better, or if this is his way of connecting with people I haven't been able to figure out. Though, we do seem to connect better in this way.

He is not stupid though. Far from it. The fact that he skipped nearly all of elementary school and most of middle school should be fact enough alone. His IQ level is quite high as is his perception and thinking abilities, nearly bordering on the thought processes of most biotics, though Shepard does not show any signs of being one.

His intuition allows him to almost instantly pick out the flaws or even the strengths of people and use that to his advantage. A sudden twitch of the eyebrow and he can guess quite accurately what you were thinking. I can see how he was able to persuade the people at Elysium to fight on after their commanding officer, Troy Paris, was killed. When I mentioned his name, he appeared to smile a little. I believe he knows what happened to his commanding officer, but he didn't dwell on the topic for very long. He only said it was very 'ironic.'

He has a rather fatalistic view of the world. Through everything I've seen during the war and the battles afterwards, I've never seen someone quite like him. I asked what he thought of death and he looked me in the eye and said "I couldn't care less if I died right now." He said it like it was a matter of fact. He continued by saying that people died all the time and that his death wouldn't matter one way or the other. Sure, he would fight on and on but if he was killed, so be it.

This is curious because this is a quote I've heard many times when dealing with patients of depression, but I've never heard it said from someone who is obviously not depressed in the slightest. To the best of my knowledge, of course.

He also seems to find a lot of things annoying, but mostly when people talk to him about things he doesn't really feel or care to talk about. So he pretty much resents me. But on some level, he doesn't seem to mind. He likes to ask me about my day and my life. But when I turn it over to him, I begin to annoy him.

This leads me to believe that underneath his gruff and harsh exterior lays a good-natured and well-mannered person who generally cares for other people. Why he finds a need to protect himself from others is yet to be determined, but hopefully, I will be able to get him to trust me enough for him to open up.

However, Shepard is a soldier through and through. He will do what is necessary to get the job done, regardless of his past. Or maybe because of it. Perhaps he feels that he must push himself forward to move on. It seems to be working so far.


Captain David Anderson leaned away from the computer and looked at the other person seated across from him in the conference room. Admiral Steven Hackett continued to read the personnel history that Anderson just finished, though Anderson was sure that he had read a dozen times already. Anderson himself had practically memorized the damn thing. But the ambassador needed his professional opinion, and for that, Anderson needed to know Shepard like his own son, inside and out.

Hackett finally leaned back and glanced at Anderson.

"Well," he sighed. "What do you think?"

"As far as I can tell," Anderson replied. "He's the only person worthy of a job like this."

Hackett nodded his head in agreement.

"You think Udina will agree?" Hackett asked.

Anderson paused. He wasn't entirely sure if Udina would agree with their choice. He never seemed to agree with anything Anderson said, for that matter. But this was different.

"He'll have to," Anderson said. "There's no one else with quite a history."

Hackett sighed, and then nodded his head.

"Where the hell is that guy, anyway?" Hackett asked under his breath.

As if on cue, Ambassador Donnel Udina walked into the conference room carrying a portfolio. Probably carrying a printed copy of Shepard's history. Without a word, he placed the portfolio down and sat in the empty chair. He scooted in and leaned forward, almost like he was about to do business.

"So," he began. "What about Shepard? He's earthborn, but no record of his family."

"Doesn't have one," Anderson replied. "He was raised on the streets. Learned to look after himself."

"At such a young age, too," Hackett pointed out.

"Do we have any idea what happened during his childhood?" Udina asked.

"No," Anderson replied hesitantly. Anderson had hoped futilely that Udina wouldn't bring this up, but it was bound to happen. "He never talks about it. And when people ask him about it, he either ignores them or gives them one-word answers. Even to the psychiatrists and his friends." He would also get extremely angry, but Anderson left this out.

"Can we trust a man who keeps secrets?" Udina asked.

"Everybody has secrets," Anderson told them. "Maybe something traumatic happened that he doesn't wish to talk about. But that never hindered Shepard from doing his job."

Udina had to live with that answer. He opened the portfolio and flipped through the pages.

"At age 10, he was able to purchase a ticket onto the MSV Scorpio. That shows an almost unnatural amount of maturity for someone of that age," Udina commented.

"That has helped him throughout his entire life," Anderson told him. "From the Skyllian Blitz to Akuze."

"True," Udina agreed. "But then came Mindoir."

"Shepard's a survivor," Anderson said. "Always has been."

"True," Hackett agreed. "But, this is on a whole other scale. Who knows what he saw that night."

"We've all seen the things that happen during war," Anderson said. "Shepard accepts it and moves on. Nothing holds him back."

"It's a good thing that alliance patrol came along when it did," Hackett remarked.

"I'm more concerned with the rumor that he was seen with a pistol in his hand," Udina said.

"That's never been proven," Anderson interjected. Udina nodded.

"He then spent the rest of his young adult life under the care of XO Hannah Shepard, before he was enlisted into the Alliance military," Udina continued. "A rather strange incident concerning his classmates. But after that, he seemed to calm down some. Ms. Shepard must have had something to do with that."

"That incident could easily be explained by his difficulty adjusting," Hackett noted. "With such an…interesting background, it's no wonder he acted as he did. But he moved on. Joined the Alliance and was accepted into the N7 program. He proved himself during the Blitz. Lead an entire settlement into battle and held enemy attack until reinforcements arrived."

"He's the only reason Elysium is still standing," Anderson replied.

"We can't question his courage," Udina said. "I'm more concerned with the events that transpired on Torfan and Akuze. Messy business."

"Practically got his entire platoon wiped out during his assault on the base, " Hackett said.

"But he got the job done," Anderson finished. "Thanks to him, there hasn't been any slavers attacking our colonies for almost 3 years."

"He saw his whole unit devoured by thresher maws," Hackett continued. "Just looking at his entire history, it's amazing he hasn't suffered a mental breakdown by now. But he could have some serious emotional scarring. Plus, there's Dr. Chakwas's report."

"Every soldier has scars," Anderson told him. "Shepard has never let his past affect his judgment or his duty."

"From what I've gathered from Dr. Chakwas's report," Hackett continued. "He may not be doing this out of a sense of duty."

"Whatever his reasons, he gets the job done," Anderson said, respecting Hackett's honesty.

There was a pause.

"Humanity needs a hero," Anderson tried to drive that point in. "And Shepard's the best we've got."

Another pause followed as Udina reviewed the profile.

"Is this the kind of person we want protecting the galaxy?" Udina asked without looking up.

"It's the only person who can protect the galaxy," Anderson answered. Udina nodded and sighed.

"I'll make the call."


Playing playlist entitled "John's Oldies"…

Selecting random track…

Track #291: "Hand of Sorrow" by "Within Temptation" from "The Heart of Everything (2007)"

Playing track…

"The child without a name grew up to be the hand,
To watch you, to shield you or kill on demand,
The choice he'd made he could not comprehend,
His blood a grim secret they had to command,

He's torn between his honor and the true love of his life,
He prayed for both but was denied,

So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed,
Was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have past, who are the noble and the wise?
Will all our sins be justified?

The curse of his powers tormented his life,
Obeying the crown was a sinister price,
His soul was tortured by love and by pain,
He surely would flee but the oath made him stay,

He's torn between his honor and the true love of his life,
He prayed for both but was denied,

So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed,
Was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have past, who are the noble and the wise?
Will all our sins be justified?

Please forgive me for the sorrow, for leaving you in fear,
For the dreams we had to silence, that's all they'll ever be,
Still I'll be the hand that serves you,
Though you'll not see that it is me,

So many dreams were broken and so much was sacrificed,
Was it worth the ones we loved and had to leave behind?
So many years have past, who are the noble and the wise?
Will all our sins be justified?"

The doorbell rang and Lieutenant Commander John Shepard opened his eyes. Groaning to himself, he plucked the headphones from his ears, the song's soft, mournful piano ending still ringing through them. Shepard didn't bother to turn off his Omni-Tool as he dragged himself out of bed, letting the glow from the holographic projection light the way. His head aching and pounding, he didn't even bother to find a pair of pants as he slowly made his way to the front door of the apartment, running his hand through his short, black hair. It always felt odd and he would prefer to have his hair back to a comfortable length of past his eyes, but the Alliance "frowned" at those kinds of things.

Regardless, he made his way sleepily to the door. It took him awhile to find the button but he did, allowing him to open the door slightly. The bright sunlight reflecting off the nearby buildings entered the room and blinded him for the moment.

"Lieutenant Commander John Shepard?" the man asked.

"You better have a damn good reason for waking me up at…what time is it?" Shepard asked, looking around.

"It's 12:35 Local Time, sir," the man replied.

"Whatever," Shepard groaned, rubbing the sand from his eyes. "Who are you?"

"Staff Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko, sir," the man saluted sharply. "I've been ordered by Captain Anderson to pick you up."

"What now?" Shepard blinked.

"Sir, you've been assigned as the Executive Officer of the Normandy," Kaidan said, raising an eyebrow. "Today is the Normandy's shakedown run, sir. It departs in three hours."

"Ah, shit," Shepard groaned. He had completely forgotten. "All right, give me a minute."

"Of course, sir," Kaidan nodded.

"Come on in, I guess," Shepard motioned for him to enter.

Kaidan entered the apartment and took off his hat. He wore his dress uniform with his rank on his shoulders and some medals he won on his chest. It was mainly for show off the crew during shakedown; orders from the higher-ups. With pale brown eyes, he took a look around at the residence of John Shepard and his mother, Staff Commander Hannah Shepard.

"You want something to drink or eat?" Shepard asked from the bathroom.

"No, thank you," Kaidan replied.

"Well if you do, there should be some crap in the fridge you can eat," Shepard stated, turning on the shower. "Make yourself at home. I won't take long."

Kaidan sat down on the couch and turned on the extranet, trying to find the news.

"Today marks the inauguration of the Alliance frigate, the SSV Normandy," the reporter was saying. "The Normandy has been hailed by many to be one of the most advanced vessels in Citadel Space. Although details of the vessels' technological capabilities have been deemed classified by the Alliance military, many inside sources have confirmed that the ship's technology may even be more advanced than those in the asari fleet.

"The Normandy is under the command of Captain David Anderson. Born in London, 2137, he soon became a decorated military officer who served with distinction during the First Contact War. He was also one of the first to graduate from the N7 marine program. The Executive Officer of the Normandy is also a decorated war hero by the name of Lieutenant Commander John Shepard, son of Staff Commander Hannah Shepard, the executive officer on the dreadnaught Kilimanjaro. Commander John Shepard is most notably known as the man responsible for the defense of Elysium, the oldest Alliance colony in the Skyllian Verge, an act which earned him the Star of Terra."

"Plenty of prestigious people on this ship, Carolyn!" the anchor of the news-station said to his partner with the fakest smile Kaidan had ever seen. Kaidan turned it off, shaking his head.

"Anything good on the net?" Shepard called from the bathroom.

"Just news on the Normandy, sir," Kaidan replied.

"Anything about how it was co-developed with the Turian Hierarchy with financing from the Citadel?" Shepard asked.

"You already know the answer to that, sir," Kaidan said, shaking his head. "The public wouldn't really like how the turians helped build our ship."

"Ah, well," Shepard chuckled and emerged from the bathroom, dressed in his finest military suit. It wasn't really put on correctly though, with half his shirt untucked and his tie loose. Shepard didn't seem to notice. "Can't blame them. People still hate the turians for First Contact. Or the 'Relay 314 Incident,' as the turians call it."

"I guess not," Kaidan replied.

"What do you think about them?" Shepard asked. Kaidan looked at him and Shepard seemed genuinely interested.

"I think that turians can have the same emotions as us," Kaidan replied. "I think we as individuals have a lot in common." Shepard stared at him for a moment, analyzing him.

"Good point," Shepard said, nodding. "I personally don't care on way or the other. Turian, asari, salarian, volus, elcor, hanar, krogan, quarian; all the same to me, really."

"What about batarians?" Kaidan dared to ask. Shepard thought for a moment.

"Don't really hold much love for them," Shepard stated, scratching the back of his neck. "But it's not because of racism. It's mainly because every time I meet one, they try to shoot me in the head."

Kaidan couldn't tell if he should be laughing or sympathizing.

Shepard picked up his pack, containing his armor and his weapons, as well as some personal affects. Hoisting it onto his shoulder, he looked at Kaidan again.

"Shall we?" Shepard asked.

Kaidan nodded and they exited the apartment. Shepard blinked a few times, trying to adjust to the light of the star. He locked the door to his apartment and began walking down the pathway towards the floating car, with Kaidan not far behind.

"You were my partner during that whole lunatic L2 business not too long ago, weren't you?" Shepard asked.

"Yes I was, sir," Kaidan replied. "Messy stuff."

"Yeah," Shepard said softly. "Messy."

"Oh, there is one thing the Captain wanted you to be aware of," Kaidan spoke up. "He would have contacted via extranet, but with so many people tapped into the line, he thought it best we not have any eavesdroppers. We had an…how did the Captain put it…an 'authorized stowaway.' A turian, to be exact. They had to sneak him in through the cargo so the press wouldn't blow it out of proportion and begin spouting Post-First Contact paranoia."

"And why would a turian want to be on our ship?" Shepard asked.

"Well, he's a Spectre," Kaidan said bluntly. Shepard stopped in his tracks.

"A Spectre?" Shepard asked incredulously. "As in 'I am authorized by the Citadel to do whatever the hell I need to do to protect galactic peace?' That Spectre?"

"The very same," Kaidan nodded.

"Any idea why?" Shepard asked. Kaidan merely shrugged.

"The Normandy is a ship built with financial backing from the Citadel," Kaidan suggested. "They could have sent a Spectre to see if their money was put into good use."

Shepard said nothing. That idea was entirely plausible. Hell, it might have even been correct. But then why did he have a bad feeling in his gut? He had learned a long time ago to trust his gut feelings over his head. But he kept his suspicions to himself as it was too early to make assumptions.

"Well, buddy, we'll find out soon enough," Shepard said, moving towards the car. "Let's just go with it, smile for a few pictures and hopefully, I won't have to punch anyone in the face along the way."

"Outstanding," Kaidan said simply.

They entered the car and sped off towards the docks. Shepard gazed out at Arcturus Station. This shakedown mission was beginning to feel…off. A Spectre on board? At the last possible minute? Things just didn't add up. But he knew Captain Anderson. He knew he wouldn't have done this without good reason. He would just have to trust that the Captain would tell him that reason before it was too late.

Trust only movement. The universe…life happens at the level of events, not words. Trust movement.

Shepard blinked at the window as he remember the quote from the man who would probably be the closest thing to a father he would ever have. It was relevant, he thought.

"Dammit," Shepard muttered.

"What?" Kaidan asked.

"I should have had a smoke before I got into the car," Shepard said plainly.

"You could have one when we arrive," Kaidan said.

"Yeah, then I'll have some P.R. prick hounding me about 'not setting a good example for the children' or something," Shepard said shaking his head. "No, once I got into the car, it was too late to indulge in the little pleasures. Once I get to the Normandy, it'll probably be too late to turn back."

"Anxious?" Kaidan asked.

"No," Shepard admitted. He looked at Kaidan and smirked, his deep blue eyes catching the glint from the distant star.


I have redone this entire chapter. Or at least, added the entire last few pages. I thought it was necessary that we get a clear picture of Shepard's personality before we actually start the journey. It was also necessary to get the setting down so people aren't lost. It may be unnecessary in the end because most who are reading this know the Mass Effect universe anyhow. Oh well.