I don't own Bioware.
My first attempt at a crack fic
I was driving down the highway this morning when a thought struck me: What if Cerberus had spent a year bringing Shepard back to life…only to find that he wasn't Shepard? Or to be precise, what would Miranda do to the idiot that allowed this to happen? Set just before the events of Mass Effect Redemption, if ME Redemption took place a year after Shepard actually died.
Miranda Lawson had a headache, a migraine thumping through her skull when she was called to the main lab.
"Well, this is it, the big moment," Frederick van Haussen rubbed his hand together in glee as Miranda, Jacob and Wilson gathered around the operating table. The Swedish doctor had an enormous grin on his face as he beckoned his colleagues/employers closer. "After a year of research and operating, we have successfully brought Commander Shepard back to life."
"Are you sure this is Shepard?" Wilson took a closer look at the unconscious man on the table, the compared the face to the picture he had in his hand. "He doesn't look much like he did on the newsreels."
"Bah! What would you know? I tell you, I carefully picked his body from the ones you recovered after extensive testing on his DNA to make sure he was really Shepard," Haussen picked up a syringe and injected the contents into the neck of the subject. "Bare in mind, he has also just died and been brought back to life. I imagine that you would not look so good if that happened to you, eh Miss Lawson?"
Miranda didn't answer, she just stared at the now shifting eyelids of Commander Shepard. There had been a furious scramble by Cerberus, the Alliance and several mercenary groups to secure the bodies of the Normandy crew. Cerberus had ended up with most of them, and Doctor Van Haussen had been paid exorbitant sums of money to identify the body and bring the charred hunk of flesh back to life. She hoped it had been worth it. Her headache agreed, whining in pain born of not enough sleep, too many hours working, and a slightly guilty conscience.
Months of precision surgeries, careful reconstruction of the neural pathways, reinforcing the skeleton and skin with cybernetic implants, over two billion credits poured into one human being. Add to that the stress of being the head operative of the Lazarus Cell, being personally responsible for every report sent to the Illusive Man, every piece of equipment, every security wall that they had in place. Her relationship with Jacob had paid the price, as had her sleeping patterns. It might not be so bad if she were actually working with people on her level. While Jacob was good company and a good sparring partner, he didn't even approach her intellectual plain. Wilson was brilliant, but far too chatty for her to consider working with him again. He'd get a nice bonus in his paycheck and a quiet lab for his personal R&D projects. And Van Haussen? He was an asshole who she frequently caught staring at her ass. But now it was done, and Miranda was bloody glad for that.
The eyes of the man on the table slowly flickered open. He stared around, taking in the situation, and then screamed long and loud.
"Commander Shepard, calm down," Miranda placed a reassuring hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry, you're safe."
"NO I'M NOT!" the man kept screaming. "ONE SECOND I WAS IN ENGINEERING, AND THEN THE HULL EXPLODED!"
"Don't worry, everything's fine…engineering?" Miranda's heart sank to her high heels. "Commander Shepard, the report states that you were on the bridge before being spaced."
"No, it was engineering," wide green eyes stared back up at her. "And why are you calling me Shepard? My name's Blake, Serviceman 2nd Class Kristopher Blake."
"Blake?" the normally confident and clear voice of the Cerberus Operative became incredibly soft. "Not Shepard, you're sure?"
"Of course I am," Blake stared around, finally beginning to calm down. "I'm on a hospital ship aren't I? The rescue teams got to us in time didn't they?"
Miranda turned around and stared at van Haussen, the doctor smiled weakly, and then began a series of fearful stuttering. "Well, parts of Shepard's DNA must have gotten mixed up in his system during all the confusion in the body retrieval. It was an easy mistake to make. Please, we now have all the knowledge we need to bring Shepard back, we only need to find his body."
Lawson considered screaming to the rooftops about how Cerberus did not pay for mistakes or failures. But she kept herself calm, 'Remember, you control the impulses, they don't control you,' her brain tried to calm the blood and adrenaline coursing through her system. She began speaking again, her voice mechanical. "I understand Doctor, come with me, we'll talk about how we can rectify this mistake. I've always admired you for your steadfast dedication and reliability, now…"
Jacob, Wilson and Blake watched, mesmerized as Miranda escorted the tall Swede out of the medical lab. For a moment there was silence, then for the next five minutes, all they could here was the sound of agonized screams, the rasping noise of a knife being drawn and finally, a series of short, sharp gunshots. Miranda re-entered the room, her black and white jumpsuit now soaked in bright red blood. She met the gazes as she returned a pistol to her holster.
"Despite my insisting that this would not end the Lazarus Project, Doctor van Haussen was so overcome by shame at his mistake that he decided to break his kneecaps, toes and ankles, tear out his Achilles heels, the remove his tongue, sexual and reproductive organs with a knife, cave in his ribcage, cut his own spinal cord, puncture his lungs and eardrums, gouge out his eyes, rip all his hair out by the roots, then biotically remove most of the skin from his body, while breaking most of his remaining bones. Then he shot himself twelve times in the chest and head," Miranda calmly picked up a towel and began wiping herself down.
"Oh…" Jacob's dark skin had paled slightly, Serviceman Blake was paralyzed with fear and Wilson was whimpering. A bright smile lit up Miranda's face, the headache that had been plaguing her had finally vanished, she was blessedly free of any pain.
"Now, here is how we are going to handle this," Miranda tossed aside the now bloody rag. "While I go write up a report for the Illusive Man, you Jacob will get in contact with our men on Omega and begin enquiries as to who exactly has Shepard's body. Wilson, you will organize a cleanup crew for Doctor van Haussen, then arrange a memory erase for our friend here. Ship him back to the Alliance, implant memories of escaping from slavers if you have to. Jacob, in one hour, you will meet me in my quarters, bring chocolate and some Blue Label whiskey."
A stunned silence settled over the room as Miranda swaggered outside, stepping daintily across the remains of the former Doctor. Wilson finally spoke. "Did she just…?"
"Snap?" Jacob nodded, gulping slightly. Operative Miranda Lawson, top Cerberus Operative, had just psychotically murdered a human being in cold blood.
"Ah, Commander, Jack just went to have a little talk with Miranda," Joker's voice reached Shepard's ears. "Could you stop them before they tear out a bulkhead?"
Shepard sprinted down the hall, hopefully he could get to the XO's office before any major damage or injury occurred. When the door opened, he was astonished at the sight before him. Jack and Miranda were sitting at the desk, drinking some of the Cerberus officer's private reserves straight out of the bottle. Jack nodded at him, smiling a bloody grimace past her injuries. Miranda didn't look much better, but was equally cheerful.
"S'okay," Jack's voice was slurred. "We worked it out, turns out we got more in common than I first thought.
Again, my first attempt at something humorous, something to let out the writing energy in my brain while I work on the next chapter of Where Eagles Dare.