After some pondering, experimenting, and starting another round of Mass Effect (like that's really a hardship), I am pleased to present my own take on the game, with a bit of a twist thrown in.

That twist was inspired by the Ciaphas Cain series (by Sandy Mitchell); one of many, many books linked to a tabletop miniature game called Warhammer 40,000. The title character, Ciaphas Cain, is widely regarded as a Hero of the Imperium. Problem is... he doesn't want to be one. He feels heroes have a disturbing tendency to get into the sort of trouble that is hazardous to life and limb, and wants to avoid such hazards whenever possible. Unfortunately, some people think he really is a hero who thrives on danger, and "volunteer" him for hazardous missions. So, he tries to find assignments that appear dangerous, but are supposedly safe, easy and boring. Either way, he usually finds himself in yet another situation that threatens life and limb... and somehow survives. Which further convinces everyone else that he's a Hero, which increases his chances of getting sucked into even more dangerous encounters... it's a very vicious cycle. Clearly, the universe has a warped sense of humor. The only saving grace is that everyone thinks he's a hero, which provides a few nifty perks every now and then.

Similarly, this Commander Shepard kinda accidentally stumbled into doing something that looked heroic, things swelled WAY out of proportion, and now he's stuck with the label of Hero. And that's before visiting a "charming peaceful bit of paradise" on a "routine shakedown cruise."

In addition, the Ciaphas Cain series is arranged as a bunch of memoirs that were edited by another individual. These edits, in the form of explanatory footnotes and occasional excerpts from other sources, provide background information or perspectives that the reader might otherwise be unaware of. I'll be following a similar format in this fanfic, right down to the editorial comments and footnotes. Hopefully, it'll be a fun read. Who knows: you might find out something that wasn't ripped straight out of the Codex.