Disclaimer: I do not own anything pertaining to the wonderously rich RPG Mass Effect, nor anything that belong within the game itself. I do own my Shepard, however.


"Do you know how biotics work?"

If she were normal, and not a freak, Shepard wouldn't know how to answer that question. However, she was, for all intents and purposes, branded a freak by the majority of her species. She'd be called names, got into fights, and almost expelled from one of her schools because of the deep-seated hatred of her biotics.

Of course she knew the answer.

"Don't we do something with our bodies, something that has to do with little pockets in our nerves that do something with the electrical impulses to manipulate dark energy into, I don't know," she lifted her shoulders up in a shrug. "Do things like lift people in the air or make those funny little balls of dark energy?"

"You know about singularities?" The doctor made some more scribbles on her notepad. Shepard tried to peer over the doctor, to see if what she was writing, but she couldn't make anything out.

Perhaps she was just doodling or she was really taking notes on Shepard, but the younger girl couldn't be sure. She began to fidget and play with her long dark hair. Her stomach began to feel a bit queasy, like it was tying itself into a knot as she sat there.

"What else does she know?" the doctor was now talking to her parents, who sat in the two chairs next to her. Her mother's hand was clasped in her father's, biting her lips. She did that when she was nervous. Her father looked at her solemnly, his eyes unblinking as they looked at each other, then back to the doctor.

"Uh..." Hannah Shepard stuttered slightly. "I-I don't know..." She looked to her feet, disappointed, like a student who'd been hoping to answer a different question when called upon.

The doctor turned to her once again, her gray eyes inquisitive. "Do you know how to make a barrier or how to warp something with biotics?"

Shepard shook her head no. She'd never heard about anything like that.

"Well, the barrier ability is a little self explanatory. A biotic can generate enough energy around themselves to form a protective casing. It can withstand even a gunshot, or several, before quickly fading away."

Shepard's eyes widened. "Wow..." she muttered, her mind racing. She'd no idea that a biotic could do things like that. She'd been under the impression that they could control people's thought and actions with some sort of strange mental ability.

I guess that's what I get for looking up 'biotics' on Google. She thought to herself.

The doctor turned to her mother once again and asked her a question that Shepard couldn't make out. She looked over to her mother, and awaited her response.

When it didn't come right away, Shepard felt her stomach leap a little. Her mother was normally calm and collected. She always knew what to say and when to say it. It surprised her that her mother couldn't find anything to say.

It put things in perspective for Shepard.

Here she was, thirteen, barely a teenager, and she was about to undergo a massive surgery to implant some wacko do-hickey into her brain that helped her become even more of a freak than she already was.

Shepard clenched her fist tightly and spoke.

"No..." she whispered. "I...I won't do it." The doctor didn't seem to hear her so she repeated herself a little louder and with more emphasis.

Her mother looked up at her, and Shepard felt her throat tighten. Her mother looked on the verge of tears.

"I don't want to do this." She felt her face grow hot and her eyes begin to sting. "I don't...I can't....do this..." She buried her face in her hands, and let out a deep sigh, her lip quivering.

"What happens if something goes wrong...?"

"Ali..." her mother whispered. "Don't say that..."

Shepard shook her head in denial. "No, no no! What's going to happen if something goes wrong?! A clot or some sort or seisure or what happens if they kill me! What happens if I die, mom?!"

The room fell quiet around her, the question hanging in the air. Not one person said anyting for a few moments, and her question, the one question she wanted to shred to pieces and wish she'd never said, was greeted by sickening silence.

Shepard hated it.

"I won't!" She screamed and slammed her fists on the table where she sat. A small flash of pain slashed its way across her skull, making her squeak and several stacks of papers and books, along with some nearby medical equipment and medi-gel, began to shot out from where they sat, pushed by an invisible force.

They landed on the floor with a crash, making all in the room flinch in surprise.

And, Shepard noticed, fear.

They were scared of her. Shepard began to shake. They were scared of her.

Scared of a thirteen old girl, one who had beat the odds when she was born, been that ten percent that'd developed these shitty abilities to manipulate this god damn energy, and was then deemed a freak and almost thrown out from every school she was enrolled in.

Scared of a girl who could do all this wonderful and miraculous and incredible things with her mind and yet felt so alone and helpless against all the prejudiced against her because she'd only be ridiculed more if she struck back with her power.

Shepard began to cry, hard. She sobbed so hard and she realized she'd never cried so hard like this in her life.

She felt a pair of arms wrap around her and she flinched and looked up. Her father was holding her in his arms, stroking her hair softly and whispering into her ear.

"Shhh, honey..." he said. "You have to be brave, Ali. Be brave for your mom and me. You know we love you like crazy and we know that you're meant to do so much good in this world with your biotics. You'll make us so proud to call you our daughter." He squeezed her into a tight hug and let her cry the rest of her tears into his chest.

Shepard sniffed. "You're just saying that..." she mumbled, but her father shook his head. Her grabbed her by the arms lightly, but firmly.

"Alice Shepard, you listen here." He said quietly. "You were brought in the world to do great things, be they with biotic powers or not. You're a good person, kind, generous and sweet as hell." He wiped her tears with one of his hands. "You need to know that there is a very slim chance, and I'm saying a very, very slim chance, that this L2 implant could...have complications, but you need to have this operation. Otherwise, things are only going to get worse."

Shepard pursed her lips. She tasted salt, thick and bitter. They made her stomach hurt.

She sighed and was suddenly very tired. She looked to her father and to her mother and knew, deep down in her heart, that what her father said was true. She couldn't really survive in society without the implant.

She turned to the doctor, who almost looked like she was going to cry herself. The sight led Shepard to giggle slightly, despite the situation. She wiped at her eyes with the back of her hands.

The doctor coughed and tried to regain her composure. "Well," she said. "I'm glad you got that off your chest, my dear." She smiled at Shepard and leaned in, covering her mouth like she was telling Shepard some sort of a secret.

"Between you and me, our little implant will help you to give anyone you makes fun of you a nice little biotic foot in the ass."

Shepard grinned deviously at that thought.