Author's Note: Responses to my previous two fan fics have been
overwhelmingly positive. On someone suggested I do a
fiction where Emily Wong finally gets her interview with Shepard. I may
or may not do a renegade version considering renegade options with a
previous Emily Wong results in zero progression in her quests. Also if you are wondering about some of the lies Shepard tells, it's to calm the galaxy (everyone now knows the reapers are coming), to not make himself sound like the second-coming or a living god, or to pit the people against the Alliance or the Council. I
consider this to be a direct sequel to "The Third Interview (Paragon
Version)" and takes place at the beginning of ME3. So once again, spoilers for Mass Effect 1
and 2. And Shepard's stats:
Saved council & others
No previous LI from ME
Current LI: Tali
Emily Wong walked in through her apartment door and nearly collapse onto her couch. Working as an News Anchor at Galaxy News is hard and tiring work, but it was worth it. If it was for Shepard's help she would never have gotten her current position. The spectre still hasn't given her the interview he promised though. Jerk, she thought jokingly.
She turned on the news for anything new that she hasn't heard about. Rare, but it happens. She happen to come across Shepard on the Westerlund News channel. He was ambushed by Al-Jilani... again. Emily hated her guts. She was nothing more than an opportunist vulture who plays towards the bigots in her audience. She was always impressed that Sheard could always hold his own in any interview by her.
Al-Jilani was known for destroying anyone she disagreed with in an interview, yet Shepard was always able to turn the tables against her. The first ambush, Al-Jilani tried to paint Shepard as a Council stooge. That failed horribly, with Shepard looking like a genius diplomat while Al-Jilani looking like a bigotted psychopath.
The second interview was so priceless, that Emily had several recordings of it. Al-Jilani tried to paint Shepard (Shepard of all people!) as unpatriotic when human lives were sacrificed to save the Ascension. Emily watched hypnotized as Shepard completely destroyed her by reminding her of all lives sacrificed, both human and alien, to save the Citadel and the Ascension.
It ended up making her look like she was using Alliance soldier's lives to further her own agenda, which she was.
The third interview that played on the news shocked her. This ambush was not about Shepard's character or his actions.
"Now Shepard, is it true that you're in a relationship with Tali'Zorah vas Normandy?"
Al-Jilani exposed Shepard's relationship with Tali'Zorah vas Normandy, the Quarian Engineer on his ship. The galaxy already has a dislike for Quarians. For a human to be in a relationship with a Quarian is something anyone in the galaxy both human and alien would look down upon. Emily wondered if Al-Jilani has finally found a way to destroy Shepard like she has with so many others. She saw Tali
jump a little from shock.
What she did not expect was that Shepard held Tali's hand lovingly. He wasn't going to back down.
Shepard's face betrayed the look of pride in Tali. Al-Jilani tried to ask why Shepard would pick a Quarian of all "things" when with his status he could have any woman in the galaxy. He stood his ground and
reaffirmed his affection for Tali.
When Al-Jilani tried to attack Tali'Zorah, Shepard fought back with the intensity of a lion. Heh, the Lion of Elysium, thought Emily.
After her finally attack Shepard destroyed any doubt anyone could have about their relationship. "I love Tali'Zorah vas Normandy nar Rayya. Nothing you or anyone else can say that will ever change that.' Shepard and Tali embraced on the camera. Emily cried a little from their moment. It was heartwarming.
The two walked away from Al-Jilani who was stuck in a stupor.
"There's nothing that can take you down, Shepard," she whispered.
Wong flicked her omni-tool to prepare for tomorrow when she was sure she would be reporting on this event. While going through her notes she came across the news that Al-Jilani was fired for inciting hatred. Emily smiled. **** had it coming. A beeping noise played to notify her that she has a new message. The message was simply titled: Still want that interview?
* * * * *
Emily looked over her list of questions she tirelessly took the time to prepare for this historic interview. All the questions everyone has been wondering can finally be answered here. When she first meet Shepard, she never thought she was meeting the first human spectre. There was an awe to him. His face spoke of years of fighting and hardship, yet his eyes were innocent, free of immorality. His voice was calm and reassuring yet strong.
Emily broke from her trance and looked up to see Shepard with a small smile. "Commander!" she said in shock. "Sorry I was just looking over my questions."
Shepard was wearing an Alliance officer uniform. His eyes was filled with renew energy and hope. "Please take a seat." Shepard sat down in the chair across from her. She cleared her throat. "It's still going to be ten minutes or so before the cameras are ready. Mind if I ask you something, off the record?"
"I don't see why not."
"How did you and Tali come to be?" she asked sincerly. "I'm not trying to be critical, I was just curious how two people from completely different backgrounds could find each other."
Shepard smiled lovingly at the thought. He looked beind his back to see Tali talking to some of the stage crew. "We first met in the back alleys when I was searching for evidence against Saren. She was being attacked by some of Saren's men and I came into the battle. She showed some skill there and so I allowed her to join my crew. Over time we grew close. Each of us always thought there was something between us, but neither of us were willing to talk about how we felt for each other."
"THE Shepard having trouble talking to a woman?" Emily smiled at the thought that the Lion of Elysium was shy.
"It was more than that. We were from two different worlds, literally in this case. She was an Admiral's daughter who was on pilgrimage and was expected to come back with something to change her people's future forever. She saw me as an Alliance soldier who would never see past this-" Shepard gestured a mask over his face. "We both made assumptions that made us suffer. Being separated from each other for two years made us realize that what we felt for each other was not just a crush or anything like that. We loved each other."
"What happened to change that?"
"When we ran into each other at Freedom's Progress..." Shepard went quiet briefly. "It was like the feeling, that everything was going to be alright, came back. Despite my association with Cerberus, she still trusted me. She didn't doubt that I had good intentions when it came to my dealings. She was relieved to have her trust reaffirmed when I gave her Veetor to take back to the fleet instead of handing him over to Cerberus. When the Illusive Man gave me her dossier I told Joker to rush to Haestrom as fast as possible." Shepard chuckled a bit. "Garrus, Grunt and I saved her from being overwhelm by Heretic Geth forces. Even saved a Quarian Marine by the name of Kal'Reegar."
"And the feelings continued growing after she rejoined your crew?"
"Yes. When the trial happened, I argued fiercely in Tali'sdefense. We helped her people retake the lab ship that was overwhelmed by Geth. Sadly we were too late to save her father."
Emily gasped in sadness. Both Shepard and Tali'Zorah lost their parents. Both have a shared pain.
"I hugged her to let her know that she was not alone in the galaxy. That I was there for her. When we got back to the ship to finish her trial, despite not having evidence to prove her innocence, I still argued for her. I think they were worried more about me than the Geth on the Alarei." He laughed. "She was exonerated."
"While having no evidence you still got her off. That must have be some speech. But that doesn't get to the point where you're honest with each other."
Shepard grinned. "We kind of bumbled onto the topic when we were talking about her fever."
Emily giggled a little. She tried to cover her mouth to mask her laugh.
"We were about to head onto a mission that by everyone's account was going to be a suicide mission. It was then that we had to be honest with each other. No more talking around the subject. We were both surprised. It was a relief and joyful to know the truth about each other. She still tried to point me to someone else. Tali wanted me to be happy. But she made me happy and I didn't want someone else. I wanted her. If her helmet wasn't on at that moment I would have kissed her."
"Have you seen her face?"
"Yes, several times. The first time was right before we went through the Omega-4 relay. There was a chance we weren't coming back." Shepard raised a brow.
Emily got the message. "Oh... That's so... Beautiful. I'm sorry you had to reveal your relationship with Al-Jilani."
"Though she did get fired for that piece."
"Couldn't have happen to a better person."
"I do wish you and Tali'Zorah the best."
"Miss Wong, the cameras are ready!"one of the crew members yelled. "Miss Zorah here really helped out."
"That's like her," Shepard joked.
"Then let's proceed," said Emily and she stuff her OSD away.
Lights went on the two and the three cameras hovered around Shepard. One to observe the two, one for Shepard's face, and one for Emily's face.
"Thank you for agreeing to this interview, commander Shepard."
"Now the question on everyone's mind is what happened to you two years ago? Several merc groups confirmed you were dead this whole time. Some rumors even claim Cerberus used a secret program to bring you back."
CHARM (LIE): "Our ship was attacked by the Collectors and I was spaced. I was briefly dead, but was quickly resuscitated by an Alliance ship that came by in time."
"But mercenary groups confirmed they had your body and you were nothing more than quote: 'stone cold dead.'"
"The body they had was a fake. The Alliance and Council had the idea of how I could take down Cerberus. They were becoming a problem to both humans and other races. Their plan went as such. A fake body was left in orbit around where the Normandy was destroyed where it was picked up by some hired mercs who sold the body. My DNA was used to fool detectors so everyone would believe that I was dead. Liara T'Soni worked with us on this. She retrieved the fake body getting Cerberus' attention. Cerberus thought that they might be able to revive me and try to get me to join them in pushing a pro-human agenda. The retrieval took a while and during that time I was isolated from everyone including friends to ensure this operations could go forward."
"When Liara retrieved the fake, I was placed in a stasis container and even had a chemical injected into me to slow my heart beat to the point that I appeared dead. My container was switched for the fake and I was then given to Cerberus. They manage to 'revive' me."
Emily was a bit confused. "Isn't that a bit complicated to simply join Cerberus?"
CHARM (LIE): Taking down Cerberus requires getting inside the group. I couldn't take them down with brute force and I couldn't have approached them and asked to join. They had to believe that I was indebted to them.
"Then how did you get involved with the Reapers with this undercover work going on?"
"Cerberus informed me about the colonies."
Emily interjected, "That they were being abducted on a large scale."
"Exactly. They were random and were happening in the Terminus system so many just thought it was pirates. When Cerberus and I investigated, we found out about the Collectors."
"And Cerberus provided you with the resources to go forward."
"Yes. I had to build a team of the specialists. The strongest, brightest and most skilled people in the galaxy."
"Everyone has seen your team, but some have a past that is checkered, at best."
CHARM: "While the past of some of the people of my crew is questionable, they still fought for me and this galaxy. I couldn't have made it through the Collector's base without their help. Humanity and the galaxy owes them. They still continue to fight under my command ready to die for this galaxy if need be."
"Now according to reports you had a chance to save the Collector's base, but you destroyed it instead. Why?"
CHARM: "The base itself posed too great of a risk. When Cerberus had a team of scientist examine a Reaper corpse, it still had the ability to indoctrinate. The Collector base would have done us far more harm than good. Basing our defense on it would have be a poor strategy."
"And your ideology for winning against the Reaper fleet?"
CHARM: "This is not a war that we are going to win fighting as individual races. This is a war we are going to win fighting as one. I'm building up as many alliances in both council space and the terminus system to ensure that we will have a sizable fighting force. One that will stop the Reaper fleet."
"And the alliances you have been forging are legendary. According to reports you have the full support of the Krogran, Geth, Quarians and Rachni. How did you pull this off?"
"Wrex the leader of the United Krogan, was part of my first crew when hunting for Saren. We became comrades during those times. I aided him against some of the opposition he was facing while trying to unite the Krogan. I helped the True Geth put an end to the threat of the Heretic Geth and they see the logic behind fighting as one against the Reapers. In turn I also went into negotiations with them to return the Quarian homeworld. That got me the Quarians' support. I saved the Rachni from becoming extinct again. They want to help us stop the Reapers."
"Well due to all of your actions, humanity has the trust of the galaxy. Any last comments before this interview comes to an end?"
CHARM: I know some may be fearful of the coming threat. But this is a turning point in our history. We stand as a united galaxy. When the Reapers come, we will strike them down. We will be victorious and this moment will forever be remembered in galactic history.
Emily was surprised by Shepard's comment. "Th-Thank you for your time. Commander Shepard. First human spectre. Savior of the Citadel. Reaper Slayer."
The cameras went off. "Reaper Slayer?"
"You need some title that encourages the idea that Reapers are not as bad as they really are."
He turned around to see Tali stroll towards him. He smiled. "Hey there." Tali fell onto Shepard's lap and sat there. "Why... Aren't we bold today."
"We'll you bring that out of me." Her voice then went into a whisper with a stronger accent. "Especially after that inerview you did with Al-jilani."
"I wasn't about let her tear you apart."
"I can handle myself, but I appreciate the help."
Shepard realized that she was quoting herself from the first time they met. He laugh a little. They held each other in an embrace.
Emily giggled a bit. "Get a room you two."
"We will!" replied Tali jokingly.