Shepard was having the best dream he has had in a while. It was suddenly interrupted when he felt something stroking the line down his back. His face was buried in his pillow. Shepard moaned in annoyance. Whatever was touching his back started to swirl around. He realized it was a finger. It was joined by another finger that slid up his back giving him goosebumps. Shepard then felt a kiss on his right shoulder. He tiredly laughed. Then he felt a strong nibbled
on his ear which woke him right up.

Shepard looked up to see Tali, wearing a loose robe, laughing hysterically. He couldn't help but smile. "I've had worse ways to wake up."

"Get up you lazy bosh'tet," she cooed. "You're going to spend the day telling me about the Blitz."

Shepard's eyes cocked. "I helped defend this position from some pirates."

Tali playfully punched him in the shoulder. "You're not getting off that easily. Tours around the plaza, the site of your battle, goes at high costs. Though I doubt they could explain the story of the Skyllian Blitz as well as you could."

"Why do you want to know?" he asked innocently.

"Shepard..." she sighed. "It's what you're famous for. It's why you were considered for the Spectres."

He smiled, slightly embarrassed at her praise. "If that's what you want. Then that's what we'll do."

"Great! There are landmarks all over the plaza that we can go to, to help you story telling. This is going to be an interesting day."

* * * * *

Shepard and Tali held hands as they made their way towards the first landmark. Again the reaction they got from the crowd was mixed. Shepard was amazed at how he was not recognized in the plaza that was named after him. They arrived at the first landmark. It was a small concrete bunker. On the side of the bunker was a plaque that read out that this bunker was used by Alliance soldiers during the Blitz. People were getting their photos in front of the concrete bunker. Children ran in and out of the shelter.

"Looks like they rebuilt it," said Shepard.

"Rebuilt it?" said Tali as she cocked her head.

"Yeah this bunker was destroyed very early in the Bltiz."

* * * * *

Sub-Lieutenant Shepard stood guard at the entrance of the bunker. Inside were Ensign Malcolm, Ensign Patel, Ensign Hayha and Lieutenant McGuyver. They were playing a game of Skyllian V poker. "Come on, Shepard," pleaded Malcolm. "Join our game. No one's going to attack."

"Regulations state that a soldier is to be posted at the front of the bunker at all times while on duty."

"Malcolm's right, Shepard," said Mcguyver. "We're only posted here to have an Alliance presence. Come join our game."

"Thank you, sir, but I'll stay here."

"Suit yourself."

Shepard scanned the courtyard. He was indeed bored, but he still had his duty, regardless what LT said. He looked up at the sky. The sun was setting, leaving the sky colored with shades of pink, purple and red. It was a beautiful evening. Something appeared in the sky that caught his eye. Several ships were entering the atmosphere.

"Sir, we have several ships entering the atmosphere."

"Probably just cargo ships to resupply."

"Sir, I checked the manifests for today. We are not expecting ships today."

"Probably just an error."

Several projectiles were launched from the ships. One of them hit the hill in the distance, exploding. A small boom was made.

"What was that?" Patel asked.

"We're under attack!" yelled Shepard.

The soldiers rushed out of the bunker. They saw as the ships destroyed bunker after bunker. One of the ships flew towards their direction.

"Everyone get out of here!" ordered McGuyver.

They ran into an alleyway just in time to avoid the mass accelerator that destroyed their bunker.

McGuyver's omni-tool lit up and he yelled, trying to disguise his stress, "McGuyver, calling out to any surviving Alliance soldiers, do you read?"

The radio was silent.

"Lieutenant McGuyver, calling out to any surviving Alliance soldiers, do you read?" The LT looked up from his omni-tool. "We're on our own."

"The surprise attack, must have taken out all Alliance bunkers," Shepard added. "Where do we go from here?"

McGuyver was unsure what to do. He mostly got his position through politics, kissing Udina's ass here and there. LT rarely had any leadership role. "We need to fall back to a position we can fortify and hold out in until reinforcements come in."

"Thoughts on where that fallback position should be?" Hayha asked in an annoyed tone.

"I have an idea," said Shepard.

McGuyver was relieved to hear that. "Let's hear it."

"There's a large civilian shelter nearby here. It has excellent firing positions that we could use to our advantage. We could hold it while at the same time protect the civilians." His omni-tool lit up and a holographic image of the area was shown. "Also if we set up, explosives, here, here and here, we can cause the attackers to bottleneck their way towards us. This will prevent them from flanking us."

The three ensigns nodded and smiled. LT nodded as well. "Excellent! We do that."

"Wait!" said Malcolm. "What if civilians try to use the alleyways?"

"The only way to the shelter is through underground tunnels. Only surface entrance is the military entrance over the bunker, which we can use. Civilians around here are trained to use the tunnels, so we don't need to worry."

"Move out!"

Shepard slid his hand across the smooth concrete. He looked back to Tali and
smile. "To the shelter then?"

"Yes. I'm liking how this story is going."

They followed some alleyways until they reached the now-decommissioned civilian
shelter. It was made from the same material as a ship's hull. It was dome-shaped with a platform on the top.

"This was where we first learned who the attackers were."

* * * * *

"You hear that?" Shepard asked out loud.

"Hear what?" asked Malcolm.

"Take cover!" he said in a loud whisper.

"I give the orders!" LT said trying to retain his authority.

A shot went by his head, which made him duck down immediately. The soldiers could see several Batarians firing their weapons on their position.

"Batarian slavers!" screamed Hayha. "****ing four-eyes!"

"Return fire!" ordered McGuyver.

Shepard's arms glowed. He launched a ball of energy towards the group of slavers causing them to levitate off of the ground.

"Wait!" yelled Patel. "You're a biotic?"

"Why else would I eat 10000 calories a day?" Shepard pulled up his pistol and fired a shot into each of the heads of the slavers. "Area clear."

"Move over to the shelter!" ordered McGuyver.

A shot was fired that went through LT's chest.

"Sniper!" yelled Shepard. "Hayha, take him out!"

"Sir!" He aimed his sniper rifle at the pirate. It was a Human this time. He pulled the trigger. The pirate's head exploded. "Sniper down!"

Shepard applied medi-gel to LT's wound. The wound sealed up and the bleeding stopped. "Can you walk, sir?"

"Yeah. Shoulder still hurts like a *****."

"I helped McGuyver to the shelter while Malcom, Hayha and Patel covered us from any other attackers." Shepard led Tali all the way to the shelter. "By this time the sun was gone and it was night. We got LT to a safe place and then we split into two teams to plant the traps in any alleyway that led to the shelter."

"Must have been horrible to be outnumbered like that," Tali added.

"Yeah, but we were N7 marines. We adapt. After we set the traps, we opened the military entrance to the underground part of the shelter."

* * * * *

Inside the shelter were several dozen civilians. Some of them screamed when the entrance opened.

"Please don't hurt us!" one of them yelled.

"Don't worry," replied Shepard. "We're Alliance."

"Thank the Maker!" one yelled.

A man walked up to Shepard and asked "so does this mean that the Alliance
is fighting back against those pirates?"

Shepard placed McGuyver on the ground. LT was getting very tired. Shepard looked up at the man and said with regret, "I'm afraid we're all that's left of the ground forces. The initial bombardment took out all of the bunkers."

"Then why weren't you four killed?" a woman asked.

"Shepard here saved us," said Hayha. "He spotted the piratesbefore they attacked our bunker."

"What are we going to do now?" the man asked.

"What's your name?" asked Shepard.

"Zack."

"Zack, we just need hold out until reinforcements come."

"And when will that be?"

"A day or two."

"We're not going to last that long!" the woman yelled.

"We can and we will. We just need to defend this position."

"Shepard!" Malcolm called out. "LT just passed out. Looks like he lost more blood than we thought. His pulse is a little weak, but he should be fine."

"I guess that means Shepard's in charge," Patel added. He gave Shepard a salute. "What are your orders, sir?"

Shepard was quiet for a second. "Patel, Hayha. Go on top of the shelter and keep watch. Notify me if you see anything. Malcolm stay here for the moment."

"Sir!" Hayha and Patel both said. They ran out of the military hatch and closed it behind them.

Shepard turned to the crowd of scared civilians. "I know everyone is scared, but I'm going to need volunteers to hold this position. We have extra weapons and armor."

"None of us have any training," said Zack.

"I know. But if we are to survive the next day or so, we need as many people as possible to help defend this position."

"I'll help," said a timid voice. The civilians around the voice backed away to reveal a Quarian in a bright red suit. "I'm Rentol'Yantal nar Kryllo. I'm might not be too good with guns, but I'm good with tech. I can drain shields and summon battle drones."

"Sir, we can't honest trust it to watch our back," said Malcolm.

"Check your prejudice at the door. If you're offered help, Malcolm, you don't turn it away." Shepard turned to Rentol. "Thank you." He passed Rentol an assault rifle.

"I won't let you down." he said while nodding enthusiastically.

"You're making that part up to impress me," Tali accused in a joking tone.

"Honest truth," replied Shepard. "His name is actually on the plaque there."

He pointed to the one wall of the shelter where a plaque was hung. It had a list of all of the civilians who fought alongside Shepard and his marines. Tali scanned the list and saw Rentol's name. "You were telling the truth!"

A tourist, a business man with an expensive haircut in cheesy clothes, saw the Quarian's name on the list and cringed. "I can't believe they put aQuarian's name on this list of heroes."

"His name is on that list because he was one of the heroes," Shepard shot back.

The tourist shot him a glance. "No such thing as a Quarian hero. It's their fault Eden Prime and the Citadel was attacked. Nothing but thieves and monsters. You disgust me that you would hang around with one." He walked away with his head held up.

Shepard balled his fist and took a few steps after him. Tali grabbed onto his arm. "It's not worth it, Shepard."

He relented. "Alright... Back to the story."

* * * * *

Rentol held his assault rifle proudly.

"Anyone else care to join us?" Shepard called out to the crowd.

"I'll join."

"Same here!"

More called out to volunteer for Shepard's make-shift army. He had a feeling that most of these people were not going to let a Quarian upstage them on their own colony. Soon Shepard had a dozen new soldiers. "Alright, everyone stay put. We'll stay above and make sure no one else gets to you."

Shepard and his platoon went up through the hatch.

"I see you created a small army, Shepard," said Patel.

Shepard forced a smile. "We'll take shifts throughout the night. Patel and Hayha will take first shift. You six will stay with them during that time. After a few hours we'll change shifts."

"Sir, yes, sir!" said Patel, and Hayha.

"Hopefully we'll get reinforcements tomorrow."

The night went by and was pretty uneventful except for the distant gunfire and screams. Eventually was rising over the horizon. Smoke plumes were all over Elysium. Shepard's sleep was interrupted by the static of the radio.

"This is 5th Fleet. Are there any ground troops?"

Shepard jumped to his feet and answered back, "This is Sub-Lieutenant Shepard. We're all that's left of the ground forces."

"Shepard, this is Admiral Hackett. What is your status?"

"The surprise attack took out every bunker on this colony. My group managed to escape before our bunker was destroyed. There are only four of us left, but our CO Lieutenent McGuyver took a sniper round to the chest. He's alive but he's out cold. I'm the current Commanding officer."

"Shepard, we wish we could send reinforcements, but at the moment the pirates hacked the GUARDIAN laser defense grid. If we send anyone down to the planet it would be shot out of the sky."

"Then we need to take back the grid-"

"If reinforcements and air support are to come."

"Then I'll go."

"We are current reading heavy activity around the main control station, Shepard. This could very well be a suicide mission."

"I'm an Alliance soldier. It is our duty to risk our lives for civilians."

"Very well, Shepard. I wish you luck. Sending coordinates of control station."

"Pirates incoming!" Hayha yelled.

Shepard rushed to the top of the shelter. Explosions went off left and right, killing pirates who tried taking the trapped alleys. Some of the pirates made it through and took cover behind some debris. Everyone was at attention and firing on their positions. Shepard joined the fire fight.

"Who was that on the radio?" Hayha asked.

"It was 5th Fleet. They're here, but they can't send anyone planet side due to the GUARDIAN lasers." He flung energy around the corner of some debris lifting a couple of pirates into the air to be killed by some of the civilians.

"Yeah!" one of them yelled. "We're not so defenseless are we? Goddamn four-eyed bastards!"

"I'm going to need a team to infiltrate the control station and get the GUARDIAN lasers on our side."

"We're with you Commander!" said Malcolm.

"I appreciate it Malcolm, but I need some trained soldiers to stay here to protect and lead the civilians here. I'm taking in a small strike team. I won't lie, it could very well be a suicide mission."

The gunfire died down and his squad looked at him. "I'll need at least two of you to stay here and help protect the civilians."

"Rock-paper-scissors to decide the second soldier?" Hayha suggested.

Malcolm and Patel nodded. They shook their fists. Malcolm and Patel both got paper while Hayha got scissors. "I win," he said. "I'm ready to go when you are Shepard."

"I'll also need volunteers to come with me," he called out to the civilians. They just looked at him. "I won't lie to you. This mission to the control station could very well be a suicide mission. But if we are to get our reinforcements, we need to take back the station." Shepard placed his assault rifle onto his back and jumped onto a concrete lip to stand higher. "For too long pirates and slavers saw our colonies, every colony, as a place to plunder and harass. The colonists as nothing more than commodity than people. They've destroy lives, families,"-Shepard's thoughts went back to Mindoir briefly-" our neighbors, our pride, our confidence and our dreams. I say today we show them! We show them that we are not afraid! We are not going to hide! We will fight back and let the pirates know that we are taking back everything they have stolen and never again will we fear them!"

The makeshift soldiers cheered at Shepard's speech.

"I will fight for you," said Rentol.

"As will I!" said Zack.

"You two are the only ones I need. The rest of you. Keep your position and be ready."

Patel and Malcolm walked up to Shepard. Malcolm patted his shoulder. "Fight well, Shepard. If you die... I be sure to honor your death with a drink at the pub."

"Make those bastards pay, Shepard," added Patel.

"What is it about you and suicide missions?" said Tali.

Shepard shrugged his shoulders. "Bad luck?"

"That leaves us with one more landmark."

"The control station."

It took them an hour to wade through the busy streets. Tourist season was in full bloom and with Shepard's renewed fame due to the destruction of the Collector's base, Elysium was receiving more tourists than in its history. Once in a while the occasional person would clutch their pockets when Shepard and Tali walked by.

The control station was since decommissioned and used as a tourist landmark. In the courtyard in front of the station is a large statue of Commander Shepard in a charging position, while holding an assault rifle. Tali started to laugh.

"Laugh it up, Tali."

"It looks exactly like you! Though the face is off."

"How so?"

"The face of the statue has you screaming force like a force of nature. I've seen you in combat. You always smiling with confidence. Though back to your story."

"Oh, right!"

* * * * *

Shepard, Dayha, Rentol and Zack took cover behind a building. Shepard glanced around the corner and saw over a dozen guards. "A dozen or so," he whispered. "We need to distract them so we can sneak in."

"I can summon a drone in the distance," suggested Rentol. "I can program the drone to move away from the building so the guards will give chase. Then once they reach a certain proximity, the drone will explode which should kill anyone who followed it."

"Do it!"

Rentol tapped away at his omni-tool and summoned his drone across the courtyard. "Intruders!" one of the Batarian pirates yelled. "Get it!" Ten of them ran after the drone while two stayed behind.

"Hayha, get out your sniper rifle. I'm going to throw a warp at the guard on the left. Right before it hits, I need you to eliminate the guard on the right."

"Aye, aye."

The warp was a second before hitting the pirate when the sniper round was fired. Perfect execution. The squad ran towards the entrance. The drone exploded killing the ten pirates that followed it. "We go in and hack the console. Can you do that Rentol?"

"Yes, sir."

"Move out!"

They rushed into the building to take three pirate engineers by surprise. Zack, Rentol and Hayha killed them before they had a chance to activate their omni-tool. "Rentol, hack it!"

"'Kay, Shepard!" After a minute he breathed a sighed of relief. "It's done."

"Admiral Hackett, do you read?"

"Yes, Shepard?"

"The GUARDIAN lasers are under our control. You are free to enter the colony's atmosphere."

"Good job, Shepard." There was a pause. "You have incoming forces. Dozens of soldiers at the very least."

"Thank you, Admiral." He looked out of the window and saw over a hundred pirates marching their way towards the station.

"Rentol, will the pirates be able to re-hack the station?"

"No, Shepard. I may be young, but I'm the best with tech. It would take them hours to get through the security I've set up."

"Then I ordering you three to fall back to the shelter. Hayha, you're in charge."

"What about you?" Zack demanded.

"I'm staying here. I'll keep them distracted."

"But-" Hayha tried to protest.

"Go! I'll keep them busy. No need for all of us to die!"

"Y-Yes, sir!" He paused briefly. "It has been an honor."

"Likewise."

The three soldiers slipped out the back while Shepard smashed the glass. He threw a singularity field at the front rank. It only killed five soldiers. He continued firing with his assault rifle. Still the army marched towards him taking cover here and there. Heat sink after heat sink. Soon he used every heart sink he had. His rifle dropped to the ground as he picked up his submachine gun. At the current distance, it did nothing much more than spray bullets. Only a couple of pirates were felled by the weapon. He was down to just his pistol. He went up and felt a pistol round hit his armor. The armor protected him, but he felt the impact. He tried killing as many pirates as he could with his pistol. Throwing a singularity here and there.

Soon the pistol stopped firing and Shepard was left with nothing. His mind was too fatigued to use anymore biotics. This was it.

"Come out!" one of the pirates called out. "We know you're out of heat sinks and too tired to use biotics! If you don't we launch rockets next!"

Shepard stumbled to the door and opened it up. Not exactly how he planned to die, but he at least put up a fight. He came out to see twenty-five soldiers left. At least he killed a good three-quarters of this group.

"Who are you?" the Batarian leader demanded.

"I'm Sub-Lieutenant Shepard of the Alliance."

"Your attempts will prove to be futile, human. We will still make a profit off of this plunder. Your display, however impressive, only slightly delayed us. I could use someone like you."

"I'll never join you." His eye caught something, he smiled.

"It's a shame," the pirate said while aiming his pistol.

"Know what's a real shame?"

"What?" he growled.

"That you won't hear it."

"Hear what?"

"The shot that kills you."

Bang! The pirate's head exploded. His squad tried to get to cover but were overwhelmed by the Alliance forces that surrounded them. The pirates immediately dropped their weapons and surrendered. The soldiers then went to take them in. An Alliance officer stepped through the body-covered field towards Shepard. Shepard saluted. The officer held out his hand. Shepard grabbed it and shook. "Admiral?"

"It is a pleasure to meet you, Shepard. Where's your squad?"

"I ordered them to fall back to the civilian shelter while I distracted the army here."

"You mean this is all you?"

"Yes, sir."

"This is beyond anything I have ever seen in a soldier. If not for you this raid on Elysium would have succeeded. You saved a lot of lives."

"Just doing my job, sir."

Hackett laughed. "'Just doing my job?' I wish we had more soldiers like you out there." He pulled out a small case and opened it. "Due to your actions here, Shepard. I'm promoting you. You are now Lieutenant Commander Shepard."

Shepard saluted again. "Thank you, sir!"

"You more than earned it, Shepard. We'll be retaliating against the pirates after this."

"How so, sir?"

"We found out that they have a base on a planet called Torfan."

"Will I be joining, Admiral?"

He laughed. "No, no. I think after this you earned some leave."

"Thank you, sir."

"And that's what happened."

"Th-That's amazing, Shepard!" she squealed. "I can see why they would dedicate so much to you."

"Oh, you two again!" It was the same tourist from before. "The bucket and bucket-lover."

"Do we have a problem?" Shepard snarled.

"Yes, I do. You're leaning against the statue of a great man while being all intimate with an alien. A real insult to humanity."

"Excuse me?" said a woman who was with her husband. "I was just over hearing you, earlier. A-Are you THE Commander Shepard?"

Shepard could tell that Tali was smiling at his embarrassment. "Uh... Yes..."

"W-What?" said the rude tourist. He glanced at the statue and realized that that same man was standing there right before him. He walked away in embarrassment.

"Oh, my god, Commander Shepard!" said the husband. "It really is an honor to meet you." He shook hands with him. "And this must be the famous Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy."

"I am."

"Are you two together?" the wife asked.

"We are," Shepard proudly said.

"So the rumors are true! You two make a cute couple."

"Thank you," said Tali.

"Can we get a picture of you two in embrace?"

Tali looked to Shepard. "Of course," she said enthusiastically.

They held each other as the couple took their picture. "Would you like a copy?"

"We would like that," said Shepard. He glanced around to see that some of the people in the area were starting to recognize him. "I think we should make ourselves scarce before we start a stampede."

"Of course, Commander," she giggled. "I heard there's an excellent view from the Elysium plains. We should go there."

Shepard smiled as he wrapped his arm around her and they walked towards the edge of the plaza. The sun was high in the sky. It was going to be a good day.