Beginnings of a Hero Chapter 10
AN: Last chapter for ME1 hope you've all enjoyed the ride and prepare for the second round soon as I do a few more play through again.
Aura awoke with a headache, her temples throbbed and her brain felt like mush, "..Urgh, almost like the first brain probe after Eden Prime.." She groaned groggily.
"..If only it was you feeling that way, Commander." Ashley groaned.
"..Urgh Kellah, Is my face plate cracked?" Tali said blinking her eyes to focus.
Aura looked over behind her, "..Nope, just some dirt smears. Here let me get it." She said turning in the seat only to have it slump off the hinges broken. Sending all three suddenly then onto the ceiling. "..Crap we're upside down, why did I not notice this till now?" she said sighing.
Slowly gun fire was heard nearby, and ran Aura to action. "..Alright, play times over, lets move." She said falling out of the Mako's side hatch.
The next several moments were your fairly straight up shoot out fight with a few geth and husks, but soon the empty Presidum area was there's once more. "..Elevator, move!" She said.
This plan worked well for several moments till its came rudely to a halt. "..Damn, Saren's locked out the lifts, suit up we're going outside!" Aura said.
The following half hour of running and gunning along the surface of the interior of the Citadel would forever be etched in Aura's memory as one of the most dangerous and fun things she had done in her life so far. "..Yeee ha!" she cried as she sent a series of grenades to blow up some Geth near the needed hatch.
"..Yee ha? Sheesh Commander, you aren't Texan last I checked." She said.
"..Upper New York actually, New Bronx district." She said as she held the hatch for Aura.
"..Let us talk later yes? There is work to be done." Tali said following Aura with Ashley bringing up the rear.
Garrus groaned as he slowly came around for the second time, Saren had come in force into the Council Chambers and simply overwhelmed the few defenders there, despite Wrex and him providing fire support. The last thing he recalled was the rogue Turian throwing tech charges at their location.
Then gun fire echoed inside his head, and he carefully looked out finding Wrex coming around as well and Aura, Tali and Ashley rushing up the stairs after making quick work of the Geth invaders from behind. "..Damn their good." He thought watching as the trio moved as one coordinated unit of death.
Then Saren saw his gawking and threw more mines, these cut the pair off from helping the trio in the soon to come fight. "..Damnit, come on Turian move your hide, we got to get to the action!" Wrex said.
"..Right behind you." Garrus replied nabbing up his sniper rifle.
Meanwhile in the Council Chambers Aura had taken cover behind some fallen rail pieces for the stairs. "..I was afraid you wouldn't make it in time, Shepard." Saren said.
"..Sorry killing Geth is hard work.." she shot back.
"..But you did make it, and it is time for our final confrontation. I think we both expected it to end like this." He said. "..You've lost you know that, in a few minutes Sovereign will have full control of the Citadels systems and the relay will open heralding the arrival of the Reapers." He said half with a laugh.
"..Idiot.." Aura thought, "..I still got a few tricks up my sleeve Saren! Stand aside I can put a stop to this!" She said.
"..You survived our encounter on Virmire, but since then Sovereign has upgraded me." He said with a smirk.
"..Are you insane! Wait don't answer that!" She said pausing. "..You let Sovereign implant you?"
"..After our encounter on Virmire I could not stop thinking about what you said, about control, about indoctrination. Sovereign sensed my doubts, now my mind is clear of all doubts. I see the truth of things and my conviction is solid as steel!" He said clenching his fists.
"..You idiot! Sovereign is controlling you through your implants! Can't you see that! Step aside I can stop this, I have the means Saren you have to trust me!" Aura tried again to get the former Spectre to step aside.
She listened again to his lies about how organics and machines would work together, and how he was the evolution of things to come, "..I don't need to be reborn Saren, I'm fine as I am now! Now if you would just listen to me, I can stop Sovereign from taking control of the station, step aside please! The invasion will never happen!"
"..No! We can't stop it not forever, you saw the visions, and you saw what happened to the Protheans. The Reapers are just too powerful!" He protested.
"..You were a Spectre Saren! A strong and dedicated Turian to the cause of the galaxies defense! Some part of you must see that this is wrong! You can fight this!" She said.
"..M..maybe your right, maybe there is still a chance for…a..aurgh!" he cried in pain, "..I..I can not I am lost Shepard, the implants…" he said.
Rolling out her pistol lowered she shouted, "..No! It's not too strong! They are just machines, tools! Things are not finished here; you can still redeem yourself Saren!" She said carefully walking forward in case he shot at her, but trying to show him there was always hope for things.
Saren though drew his pistol, looked at her with a saddened look, placed it to his head and said. "..Good bye Shepard…Thank you.." he said softly pulling the trigger.
Aura watched dejected as she failed to save the Turian, but yet reflected in a twisted way he had been saved. Shaking her head and helping Ashley and Tali up, the female marine spoke, "..I.." She coughed. "..I think that little speech qualifies that I win ma'am." She said.
Aura said nothing walking forward and looking down, "..Make sure he's dead. Those implants could hold a trap by Sovereign." She said both teammates nodding.
Meanwhile Aura opened her Omni-tool and uploaded Vigil's datafile. A series of beeps resounded as Ashely signaled that Saren was dead, the two soon returning to where Aura stood. "..Vigil's data file worked I got full control!" she said.
"…Quick open the stations arms! Maybe the fleet can take down Sovereign before he regains control of the station!" Ashley said.
"..See if you can open a comm. Channel." Tali suggested.
Aura listened as the sudden distress call came in, and Aura's heart sank. If the Destiny Asscention was in trouble and it was the most powerful ship in the Council fleet, she let the thoughts trail off. "..Damn.." she thought.
Then Joker's voice came through signaling that they had received the distress call and that they were sitting with the entire fifth fleet. This made Aura's heart rise with hope. "..We can save the Ascension Commander, just unlock the relays around the Citadel and we'll send in the Calvary." He said.
"..Commander we can't sacrifice human lives and ships to save the Council, we'll need every human ship to take down Sovereign and the Geth! What have they ever done for us?" Ashley said when Aura turned to look for opinions.
"..This is bigger then humanity! Sovereign is a threat to every galactic civilization!" Tali chimed in. Aura looked down, feeling that the Quarian was right. But also feeling a pit in her stomach saying that equally so was Ashley.
"..That's why we cant throw away the fleet by saving the Council, hold the fleet back till the arms open up then focus on Sovereign!" Ashley said.
"..What's the order Commander, come in and save the Ascension or focus on Sovereign?" Joker asked evidently relaying her command to the admirals.
Aura leaned heavily on the console looking out to where the Council fleet was fighting for its life. So many lives hinged on what she choose here, "..Tali's right Ashley, this threat is bigger then us. I said early on this was humanity's chance to step up and show the Council what we're made of. Well" She said taking a breath, "…let's show'em! Joker! Opening the relay arms now, get in there and save the Council!" she said.
Privately though as the relays opened and Aura watched the fleet come in she felt her gut drop as weapons fire opened up on them. "..Forgive me.." she thought.
"..I hope you know what your doing Commander.." Ashley said.
"..So do I Ash, so do I…" she said.
Half an hour later after a fight with a reborn Saren Aura watched as the fight ended up above with Sovereign exploding in a fireball. "..Yes!" Aura cheered. Feeling some of the guilt of her choice fade from their hard won victory.
Then the bits of debris started to come closer to the station arms. "..Ohhh shit." She thought snapping her head to the others. "..RUN!" She screamed diving for any cover she could find before blackness over took her.
Slowly Ashley awoke again moments later to a light being shined in her face, and Tali's. "Get that light out of my eyes damnit!" She said pushing the rescuer away as he called Anderson in that they were alive.
"..Settle down chief..easy there, its over now. We won." He said.
"..Kellah, no we didn't." Tali said sadly as the two climbed out of the rubble.
"..Where's the Commander?" Anderson asked looking around.
Ashley sadly glanced back to where the rubble was strewn about and a large chunk of Sovereign was lying. Andersons face was cast down then, when a movement caught everyone's eyes. Hobbling forward at a jog Aura Shepard, earth-born orphan, Alliance war hero and renegade, now Savior of the Citadel rose from the ashes to stand on the tip of the wreckage with a shit eating grin. "..Didnt think I would get out of our deal so easily did you Chief?" she said limping over.
Both fellow teammates laughed and hugged the hero of the moment fiercely. "..Ah! Watch the ribs!" she winced. To which the pair let her go to support her better.
Later as the trio walked off to heroes welcomes, and later still the Council convened to give their own thanks, Aura was quick to pick Anderson for the spot on the Council. When Udina protested she turned to him. "..Shove your politics, we need someone who will keep things on track for when the Reapers come, there still out there in dark space, and I'm going to stop them." She said turning with Tali and Ashley at her side. A wide smile on her face, whatever her past actions were, Aura had let her past self go through this mission, and indeed her in that final harrowing choice to save of kill the Council. No matter what else may come her way she was going to stay on this new path in her life, and she would stop the Reapers, or die trying…..
AN: Aura Shepard Will return soon in the ME2 portion of this tale titled 'Trials of a Paragon' :)