Disclaimer: I do not own Mass Effect this belongs to Bioware. Please enjoy.
This is a sequel to my first Mass Effect story named "I just want something to go right". Thank you to all those who reviewed, favoured and story alerted my story, you guys inspired me to write this.
Chapter 1: All Hell Breaks Loose.
Earth seemed peaceful, birds flew in the sky that was cloudless and the sun shone like any other day. Buildings covered the sky line with glistening windows and small rooftop gardens allowing plants to soak up the daylight sun. Flying cars passed by as military shuttle crafts came and went, if you from Earth it would seem like any other day. But Commander Zo Shepard wasn't from Earth, she may have been human and one of the most decorated soldiers of her time but she wasn't from Earth. She was born on the colony of Mindior far off in deep space and seeing Earth in this peaceful state was more than disturbing for her.
Commander Shepard, Soul Survivor, First human Spectre, Hero of the Citadel and Destroyer of Collectors, was locked up in a cosy room in the Alliance base in Vancouver. Charged with war crimes and relieved of duty. Her ship impounded and being refitted for Alliance use, she didn't know what happened to her best friend and pilot Joker and messaging her friends was none existent. Shepard basically had nothing to do sure she was allowed to go down to the shooting range for practise but even that was under heavy guard. Shepard usually spent her time either looking through messages that were never there or going over old mission reports of her own missions. But usually she was to give all information she had about the Reapers and any impending threat that could attack Earth, she mostly left out the part where she was going insane and might just kill her guard to get some kind of freedom.
Today however had a slightly different feel to it, maybe because she had received her monthly dose of Dextro-amino stims from Mordin in the mail, Shepard somehow managed to convince the Alliance that ever seen her reawakening her biotics had gone crazy and under Doctor Chakwas's orders she was to take the stims to keep her biotics in check. After consulting with Doctor Chakwas who backed up the Commander's story Shepard was allowed to have them, which made Shepard feel like she was a child given permission to play with a certain toy. After injecting herself with the serum she continued to look over a mission report from her time on Ilos and how herself, Garrus and Tali drove through the ruin chasing after Seran. Her hair had gotten longer in the past few months of her imprisonment and now instead of just letting it hang she had to tie it up into a ponytail like she was a little girl, she had thought about getting it cut but then she remembered Garrus loved long hair so she never cut it. A few stands fell out of the tie that she had but she didn't care it wasn't like she was going to go anywhere.
"This must be the fifth time I've read this" Shepard muttered to herself as she read the familiar words.
"It is actually the sixth time you have read that document, Shepard" a VI voice sounded in her cabin marking Shepard groan and bury her head into her pillow.
"You are worse than EDI, for spying" Shepard told it but she knew it would not truly talk with her like EDI used to. Then a noise interrupted Shepard from her thoughts, the sound of a child's laugh could be heard from her window. Shepard picked herself up from the bed and walked over to the window and looked down on to one of the rooftop gardens, a child playing with his small Alliance Fighter Jet ran round the small patch of grass laughing like he hadn't a care in the world. Shepard couldn't help but smile as she looked down upon the little boy and thought that he might one day join the Alliance for his love of that single toy. Shepard pulled out the holo that Garrus gave to her before he left the Normandy six months ago, it was the only thing that she had of him besides the mark that ran across her neck and shoulder from when he bit her. Shepard turned on the holo and looked at the small flickering picture of her Turian mate, a smile spread across her lip as she wished to feel his talons through her hair and the feel of his body pressed up against her once again but it had been so long she had almost forgot…how she cursed Thane's perfect memory.
"Commander," A voice sounded behind her, Shepard hadn't heard the door open as she turned to greet one of her bodyguards. James Vega a soldier supreme if you ever saw one, muscles popped from every angle and his dog tags shown with pride. His Latino aura about him might have made Shepard's hair stand on end if she paid close enough attention. Shepard smiled towards her guard, in all honesty she liked James he was straight with her and didn't avoid the hard questions about her ties to Cerberus or the Collectors like everyone else did.
"You're not supposed to call me that anymore James" She told him as she turned off the holo and put it in her pocket, James smiled and shrugged.
"Not supposed to salute you either, the board wants to see you" James told her as Shepard narrowed her eyes as her chill acted up. Shepard walked over and grabbed her box of stims thinking something was not right, slipping it into her pocket she walked towards James.
"Sounds important" Shepard spoke as James walked out of her door, Shepard rushed to catch up. James had long legs and a big stride so it was easy for Shepard to loose him within a few steps. Shepard pushed past people who seemed to be rushing everywhere, it wasn't usually this busy.
"What's going on?" She asked James, James shrugged as he looked at her with his chocolate brown eyes.
"They just said they wanted to see you" James told her as Shepard looked round at all the people rushing about, this was getting ridiculous. Then a familiar figure appeared from the tide of people storming Shepard. Shepard smiled at the elderly man that approached her, his face carved into her mind like a lover carving in a trunk of a tree.
"Anderson," Shepard said with relief as Anderson took her hand within his firm grip. Shepard reminded herself that he left the Council job up to Udina since he wanted to concentrate more on the Reaper threat. They started to walk down the halls with James in toe keeping an eye on Shepard, though she though he like watching her ass more.
"You look good Shepard, maybe a little soft round the edges" Anderson patted her stomach as Shepard pouted…he did just call her fat? She thought with all the running she did round her room trying to get out of it, she might have stayed in shape.
"It's not so bad once you get used to the soft beds and warm food" Shepard smiled as she remembered Gardener's cold meals that she used to have on the Normandy.
"We'll get that sorted out" Anderson told her. Shepard got the distinct feeling that the whole base was preparing for something huge. She finally got it out of Anderson that the Reapers could be on their way, Shepard felt she was punched in the gut. No way were they ready, they hardly believed her until now and instead of preparing herself with weapons and upgrades she was trapped in that box of a room forced to read old mission reports. As Anderson and Shepard rushed through the hallways of the building, everything seemed to blur together. Her thoughts of killing the Reapers, her fear that they weren't ready and how much time they had left.
"They're ready for the both of you" A woman spoke bringing Shepard back to reality. She saw she was in a huge office type of room with official looking people running about. Anderson walked on ahead as Shepard stopped to take a moment of breathing.
"Shepard" James spoke; Shepard turned to him and gave him a firm hand shake.
"It's been an honour Commander" James told her as she laughed and shook her head. James had become a good friend over the months so she didn't want to leave him behind.
"James, you won't have a lot of time. Get to the Normandy and try your best to get aboard, I have a feeling that ship is going to be the only way out" Shepard told him as James looked confused at first but he saw the look in her eyes, she was in Commander mode, James nodded showing that he understood.
"Shepard" A voice broke above the rest of the sound, she hadn't heard his voice since Horizon. Shepard felt her anger started to rise as the memory of that day replayed in her mind. Shepard bit her lip as she turned round and put on her best fake smile.
"Kaiden" She greeted him as the young Biotic gave her a solemn smile with a kind of pity look in his eye…how she wanted to punch him in his jaw.
"Major Alenko was just giving me the details" Anderson told her, Shepard looked surprised at him.
"Major?" Shepard questioned as Anderson as he gave her a surprised look.
"You hadn't heard?" He looked at Kaiden as if he was trying to remember when the two closest friends became so far apart that one was giving a death glare and the other was on edge.
"Not that I cared" Shepard walked pasted Kaiden not wanting to speak to him. Anderson caught up to her as they pasted into a grand hall. Monitors decorated the walls as information poured down the screens, a desk as big as the room itself separated the upper floor and the lower ground level. Shepard didn't feel intimidated, taking on the Collector base and a huge human Reaper was intimidating, Shepard felt bored as she watched three old looking Alliance people take their places.
"We have received disturbing information, we have lost all communications with everything beyond the Sol Relay" one of the officers spoke as Shepard was given a data pad showing recent lost of communications and bits and pieces or miss communications. Shepard sighed as she reached up and rubbed her face with her hand, she knew they were not ready at all and now everything was happening.
"You've brought me hear to tell you what you already know" Shepard spoke out as everyone stopped to listen to the almighty Commander Shepard, now she is listened to.
"The Reapers are coming" Shepard told them, that's when everything went to hell. First they lost contact with Luna base, fear could be smelt as soon as it was announced. Shepard knew a poor defence wouldn't keep the Reapers at bay plus the Moon was their first line of defence so it was highly likely it would have been taken out first. Next an image from UK headquarters came through; Anderson whispered something to Shepard about getting to the Normandy but Shepard knew there wasn't any more time. The image that plastered the screen was as Shepard feared a huge squid like creature was walking round the city of London, Shepard as partly amazed the Reapers could walk but the cries of fear started as people started to edge towards the doors.
Then a room went dark as the clouds outside became a colour of coal. Silence ebbed away as Shepard looked towards the skies, crimson lighting danced through the clouds as a Reaper descended towards the ground. Shepard looked at Anderson and told him to start heading towards the door. But then the Reaper targeted the building, Shepard's chill sparked.
"MOVE!" Shepard shouted as she began to run towards the door, the sound of shattering glass rang behind her while the thundering sound of the Reapers beam enveloped the room. The desk that held the officers suddenly came rolling after Shepard as it crunched the floor with each roll. Shepard sped up the pace to try and out run the crushing desk but the desk bounced off a rock and hit Shepard on her shoulder as it barrelled over her, Shepard fell to the ground with her head spinning as she felt her cybernetics kick in for the first time in a long time.
"Shepard!" a voice called out in the distance as Shepard tried to find it.
"Garrus?" she thought, no that wasn't right Garrus wasn't there he was on Palaven. Shepard shook her head trying to see where she was, the building now turned to rubble around her still stood.
"Shepard," Anderson's voice sounded over the fire and smoke as Shepard stood up.
"Anderson," Shepard wobbled as she walked. She spotted Anderson kneeling down at the side of one of the communications team who had half his body blown off, he must not have been lucky to escape in time.
"I'm going to try and rise the Normandy" Anderson told her as he passed a pistol to her, Shepard took it and checked it over. It was a standard model, not much power and accuracy wasn't best. Shepard remembered when she used to be good with a pistol but nowadays she preferred sniper rifles and assault rifles. Shepard clipped in a thermal clip and wandered towards the window as Anderson tried to reach someone on the Normandy. Shepard looked outside as the smoke bellowed into the sky and screams decorated the sounds of the explosions as the Reapers tore through the city. Flashes of Mindior and Akuze rushed through her mind as she looked at the devastation around her, the colour of blood staining each memory like the fire that covered the broken buildings.
"Shepard," Anderson stood besides her as she broke free of her memories. Shepard looked at the old man and gave him a smile, Anderson gripped Shepard's shoulder he knew what she was thinking.
"Come on," Anderson hopped down on to a railing that ran towards the next tower. Shepard followed him trying to keep up with his pace; she was surprised that Anderson was so fast for someone his age. Moving from building to building Anderson was still trying to contact the Normandy all the while Shepard was hoping that James was able to get aboard.
"Major Alenko? Is that you?" Anderson spoke as Shepard felt her anger burn inside her.
"What the hell is he doing on my ship" Shepard thought to herself as she moved through the heating vents and air conditioning filters that rested on the roves of building.
"I'm patching in Shepard," Anderson told him as Kaiden's voice suddenly intruded in her ear. She could have done without this. Kaiden went on to explain that the Reapers just appeared out of nowhere and that the Normandy was trying to locate them now.
"Husks!" Anderson shouted as Shepard finally had something to shoot. She rose up and pointed her pistol at the husks climbing the wall, her eyes zoomed in to the head of the first husk and as she pulled the trigger of the pistol she felt the bullet leave the barrel before it implanted itself into the skull of the husk. Shepard fired four more bullets making the other husks fall back down to the ground below.
"You haven't lost your touch" Anderson told her as she smiled, feeling the rush of battle flow through her body again.
"What else did you expect me to do besides sit in that room for six months" Shepard told him as she slid down a ladder to the next level. Anderson shook his head as he followed her.
Both Shepard and Anderson made their way through each broken building talking about how they weren't ready for the Reapers and how they should have done everything to prevent it. Deep down Shepard knew that if she could change things it might not have done anything. Along the way they found some trapped soldiers who had obviously escaped a crashed ship, they didn't look to bad except the man who was trapped under a grudger that is.
"Are you alright?" Anderson asked as Shepard heard something in the distance, She went over to cover as she peeked over the edge. The soldier said not to speak so loud or else something would hear and Shepard knew what he was talking about. Five creatures came out from hiding; they looked like husks but these were different. Bulging flesh and glowing eyes, their hands shaped or manipulated into something else and the smell was awful. But Shepard's stomach nearly gave out from the faces of the monsters, they were Batairians.
"Anderson, permission to be violently sick" Shepard asked as Anderson couldn't help but smile at the joke. Shepard smiled as she took out the Cannibals with bullets from her pistol but she also found out what the Reapers did to the Batairians hands, they made them into some form of weird assault rifle. Shepard powered up her biotics as she shone a potent blue and sent out a singularity, the small black hole grew and expanded as it dragged all the cannibals towards it. Shepard took her chance and killed all of them with her pistol.
Anderson seemed impressed but Shepard felt the strain of not using her biotics for so long, her muscles cried as her shoulders cracked. They helped the trapped solider from under the grudger creating a path to the other side, they learnt that a radio was on the other side and Anderson thought it might help to contact the Normandy and give a position for the Normandy to locate them. They rushed towards the radio fighting through more cannibals; Shepard threw away her pistol when it ran out of bullets. They reached the radio as Anderson tried to put up a signal Shepard looked round the area with Biotics flared, but something glinted from the corner of her eye. As she looked under some wreckage she found a fully functional Avenger mark one assault rifle, Shepard smiled as she picked up the weapon.
"This is more like it" she spoke to herself as checked its clips and aim. Anderson called the Normandy before he put up the signal; Shepard only hoped that it didn't alert the Reapers faster than the Normandy. She hoped that somehow Joker was on the ship knowing that he would do anything to get locate her.
"We've got incoming…" Anderson ducked behind cover as Shepard sent out a singularity towards the on coming cannibals; scores fell from the sky while even more rose up from the ground like daisies on a spring morning. Shepard loaded and fired the assault rifle towards the on coming horde, the feel of the rapid fire vibrating through her body felt good as her smile grew.
"I'm running out of ammo" Anderson shouted out, Shepard wasn't doing so well either but she could still use her biotics if things got hairy. Most of her singularities had done a good job of flinging the monsters into the water below or impaling them on to metal spikes but Shepard began to feel the strain as blood ran down her nose and into her mouth as she kept firing. Shepard grit her teeth as she opened the communication link with Kaiden.
"Kaiden…GET DOWN HERE NOW!" Shepard shouted down the radio, she heard the faint sounds of stuff falling but she didn't care. Bullets flew from the cannibals as she ducked for cover then she heard a familiar sound coming from the skies.
"The cavalry has arrived" Joker sounded over her radio as tears almost fell from her eyes now knowing that Joker was aboard. She watched the Normandy fly in the sky above, she was a beautiful sight to see even with the Alliance logo on the side of her hull.
"Come on," Shepard spoke to Anderson as she ran towards the ship as it started to open up the shuttle bay doors. Shepard ran up a small ledge and jumped into the Normandy, feeling the familiar mesh floor tiles under her feet as the smell of burning element zero filled her nose, Shepard knew she was home.
"Welcome aboard Shepard" Kaiden told her as she looked at him, he wasn't the first thing she wanted to see, in fact she still wanted to kick off her ship but she knew Anderson wouldn't let her do it.
"Whatever," Shepard spoke as she turned to Anderson waiting for him to come aboard; only thing was he wasn't coming. He told her that he needed to stay behind to help the other people still trapped on Earth and fight the Reapers with all they've got. Anderson reinstated Shepard as Commander and tossed her dog tags; Shepard caught them and held them to her chest. She knew what she had to do, she had to go to the Citadel and try and get all the help she could. Shepard started to head into the Normandy when her eyes fell on the sight of the little boy she saw before. He was running towards one of the shuttles that was carrying people away, Shepard watched him climb aboard but before it could off the ground a Reaper's beam blew both shuttles up. Shepard felt her eyes and heart almost being torn out, she knew the Reaper's wouldn't let anyone live but to kill a little boy…Shepard didn't know what to think now, everything was going to hell and she needed to find the one peace of heaven she still had left in this galaxy, she needed to find Garrus.
"Commander, you made it" James's voice rang out from the shuttle bay as Shepard ran up to him and wrapped her arms round his neck and hugged him tight. James laughed as he hugged her back.
"James, you're alright thank the spirits" Shepard panted as she smiled and looked at the Latino who was smiling down at her.
"Where's my hello hug?" Kaiden spoke up as Shepard's friendly smile became an ice cold stare.
"Good to see you Major" Shepard and James walked off leaving Kaiden alone. Kaiden sighed trying to think what he had done wrong, in the end he opened up a channel with Joker.
"Hey Joker" Kaiden spoke.
"Kaiden is that you…wow didn't know you were still aboard" Joker responded, Kaiden stopped and stared at the floor.
"…sorry wrong choice of words…what do you want?" Joker asked as Kaiden sighed and looked at the figure of Shepard who was looking over weapons and talking to James.
"Why is Shepard so mad at me?" Kaiden asked hoping Joker might know the answer.
"Kaiden…you've been in the dog house since Horizon with Shepard, I don't know what you did down there but for the next few weeks she was…blowing off steam" Joker told him as Kaiden sighed in realisation, he knew what Joker meant by blowing off steam but to do that because of Horizon was the one thing Kaiden couldn't figure out. He looked over at Shepard who was talking to someone on the console while James seemed in a bit of a mood and was looking at armour and weapons on his own…something had happened.
"Should I ask her about it?" Kaiden asked as he heard Joker scoff over the radio.
"Hell no, if she's mad at you for just being here I wouldn't talk to her…not until we get someone else aboard who can calm her down…" Joker stopped himself as Kaiden looked at the ground puzzled.
"Who...Joker what aren't you telling me?" Kaiden asked but Joker cut the line and before Kaiden could raise him again he heard Shepard talking to Joker. Kaiden walked over and joined James who was sorting out armour.
"Joker set a course for Mars" Shepard told him as she walked over to the armour stand.
"…Alright, I thought that you would want…" Joker started to talk.
"Joker, orders override wants and needs…we are ordered to go to Mars" Shepard told him as she picked up her under suit.
"Got it Commander" Joker logged out as Shepard felt the engines power up. Shepard looked over the armour picking out the parts that would fit her.
"What's going on?" Kaiden asked as Shepard gave him a look then picked up a chest plate.
"Suit up. We've got to pick up a friend." She told him and headed towards the shuttle to change inside. Kaiden and James looked at each other as James muttered something but started to suit up.
"How much longer till we get there, James?" Shepard asked as she felt the hull of the shuttle get battered by heavy winds.
"Not long now Commander" James told her but Shepard wished it would be sooner as the shuttle rocked more. Shepard felt her body tense up as the confined walls of the shuttle felt like they were getting tighter, she wasn't afraid of small spaces but for some reason this shuttle ride was tense.
"Shepard, you look tense" Kaiden spoke to her but her ice blue eyes glared at him making him sink back into his sit.
"Then stop looking at my ass and I might relax" Shepard growled, Shepard turned away and pulled her hair out of her tie letting the long longs fall in front of her face. Her hair felt heavy with dirt and grime and Shepard wished she had time for a shower before this mission but she didn't have that luxury. Shepard slipped on her helmet as James landed the shuttle to the ground.
"A sandstorm is on its way…I say we've got about thirty minutes before it hits and that's when we'll get cut off from the Normandy" James told her as she nodded.
"We get in, we get out" Shepard told her team as the door opened reviling the red planet with hostile winds and burning heat. Shepard sighed as she stepped out and unclipped her only weapon, the assault rifle fully loaded. Shepard walked on ahead wanted to do a clean sweep of the area and get what they came here for and go.
They made their way through the cliff edge as Shepard spotted something down below, she signalled to her team she was going to investigate and the others should stay where they were. Kaiden nodded as Shepard started to climb down the ladder, James marvelled at the size of the sand storm that was approaching and in all honesty Shepard was a little impressed too she had never seen a sandstorm before unless she was actually inside it. But Kaiden had to be the downer and put it as an average sized sandstorm for this planet. Shepard rolled her eyes as she spotted a body resting against some creates. She approached slowly but when the body didn't move she knew the worst the only problem was…who shot him. Kaiden and James joined her as Shepard knelt in front of the body and scanned his wounds with her eyes.
"Point blank range, pistol, had no chance to escape…executed" Shepard muttered away as Kaiden and James listened to her.
"Does she do that often?" James asked Kaiden, Kaiden looked at Shepard.
"Yeah, she always did it" Kaiden spoke fondly as he remembered each time she would examine a dead body or wound, it may have freaked people out but he loved it about her. But then Kaiden realised he spoke in past tense as Shepard gave him a glare.
"Kaiden, I still do it…you know whatever" Shepard picked up the Mantis sniper that lay besides the dead body, Shepard smiled as she clipped the weapon to her back.
"Wait Shepard, you don't use Assault rifles and Snipers, you used SMGs and pistols…"Kaiden stopped himself as Shepard turned and walked away from them. Kaiden sighed as he palmed his face, he was getting nowhere with Shepard acting like this. James patted him on his shoulder almost shaking the Major into action.
"I can answer if you like; Shepard said that during her time fighting the Collectors she had to change her style from being up close to long range. So she now uses snipers and assault rifles…though you wouldn't have known by watching her that she was still getting used to both set of guns" James explained making Kaiden look at the woman he loved who was checking out her new sniper rifle and loading it with thermals clips. He noticed she would stand on the balls of her feet or roll her neck a bit more than usual but her form was splendid to look at, the curves of her body in the Alliance uniform and armour played hell on Kaiden's imagination, although he had noticed her chest was slightly bigger than before.
"But who trained her?" Kaiden thought aloud as James looked like he was scanning his memory for the answer.
"Some Turian named Garrus Vakarian" James spoke as Kaiden's head snapped round, he knew that Garrus was with her on Horizon but he never thought Garrus would work with Cerberus.
"If you two ladies are done talking, you might want to get down" Shepard spoke over the radio. Shepard rolled her eyes as she watched the two men scramble for cover. Shepard peered over cover and saw a truck with several people round it, she couldn't see who they were but they were defiantly executing people as one of them shot someone in the head at point blank range. Shepard got down low to the ground as she used the scope of her sniper to look at the group now just standing around looking bored. What Shepard was still trying to get used to was her eyes, whenever she looked through a scope of a sniper rifle she could feel her eyes changing as she picked up each detail of the enemy. Her eyesight sometimes enhanced so much she could see the pulse of a heart beat just from looking through the scope; she would have to ask Mordin about it…if she ever saw him again.
Shepard spied the logo on one of the guys armour and rage boiled inside her gut, Cerberus but what they were doing here she had no clue. Shepard bit her lip as she steadied her breathing and calmed the raging beast that was aching to break free. Like a lovers touch she caressed the trigger of the sniper focusing on the head of the Cerberus man who was playing with his pistol. Shepard took a breath and pulled the trigger watching the bullet make the man's head explode into nothing but a bloody pulp. Shepard's lips pulled into a smile as she loaded her weapon again and took aim at the next person who was looking for her but was soon clutching his neck as blood poured from the open wound. Shepard killed the remaining three before she let go of the breath she was holding and got up from the ground and walked down the hill. James and Kaiden watched in awe as Shepard made her way down the hill and next over the headless body of the former Cerberus operative.
"What's Cerberus doing here" Kaiden's voice ruined the silence as Shepard continued walking.
"I don't know" Shepard told him as she felt what question was coming next; this wasn't going to be pleasant.
"But it's odd you know, you're here and now Cerberus shows up…bit of a coincidence" Kaiden pointed out but Shepard bit her lip trying not to let her anger get the better of her.
"I don't use them anymore Kaiden…let's just see why they are here" Shepard walked on ahead, Kaiden and James followed behind.
Shepard and the others soon ran into more Cerberus troops, they were almost at platoon strength but not quiet. Shepard took them out with her assault rifle and some biotics, she felt the buzz of battle once again and it thrilled her body even though not everything was as sharp as she wanted it. James followed suit with his assault rifle while Kaiden used his pistol to deliver a finishing blow. Shepard spied the elevator entering into the compound, signalling her team she made her way the elevator; she entered the command to make the left work as she felt the elevator power up.
"Shepard, you are going to give me some straight answers" Kaiden barged over to her as Shepard glared at him but put her hand to her head.
"Kaiden…" Shepard began to say trying to think of a way to explain to him that she wasn't with Cerberus, she was still his friend and that she was still pissed off with him.
"Don't Kaiden me…what is Cerberus doing here?" Kaiden almost ordered making Shepard's hackles flare up. She gritted her teeth and faced him.
"You think I'm still with them" Shepard snapped back as Kaiden almost back down, James stood back and watched the two commanding officers have what looked like a lovers spat.
"I don't know what to think Shepard, they brought you back…you worked for them, how do I know you're not still working for them" Kaiden spoke to her in a calming voice trying to make Shepard calm but Shepard was struggling to keep the raging beast inside as she felt the urge to punch him in his jaw grow by the second. Even though he had just fought with her, watched her take out about ten or more Cerberus troops, he was still doubting her and judging her. Shepard felt betrayed but in a way she had earned this mistrust.
"Kaiden, I haven't had any dealings with Cerberus or the Illusive man since I cut ties with them over six months ago" Shepard told him as Kaiden leant over the railing not even looking at her anymore.
"It's true, Commander Shepard hasn't been allowed any contact while she was imprisoned" James confirmed as Shepard's heart almost fell out of her chest, she hadn't spoken to Garrus for six months and she missed him and now with the Reaper attack she wanted to know if he was safe. Shepard felt her stomach turn into a knot of heat as flashes of Garrus entered her mind but she fought off the growing need as she felt the elevator come to a stop. Shepard took off her helmet letting her hair fall free round her face as she faced Kaiden her eyes filled with hurt and betrayal. Kaiden felt a lump grow in his throat as he stared at Shepard.
"I thought you knew me better than this Kaiden" Shepard told him as she looked away and pulled her hair back into its pony tail. Shepard's chill acted up as she sensed more fighting was up ahead.
So much for a simple get in and get out mission. Shepard found herself fighting through mass hordes of Cerberus troops while trying to get to the main hub of information all in hopes of finding a weapon that could destroy the Reapers. Liara had rejoined the team making Shepard send James back to the shuttle hoping that he'll be able to get them out if things got bad.
"The Major has become quiet capable" Liara spoke calmly as she scanned the consoles to try and access the tram lines. Shepard looked in the direction Kaiden went looking for a way to try and convince Cerberus that they were dead, as she leant back against a desk that was now covered in blood from a headless Cerberus trooper.
"I guess he has" Shepard spoke flatly trying to contain her feelings, she was happy to have Liara back on her team. She had missed the young blue Asari and her calming voice but what Shepard didn't expect was to find out that Liara had become more ruthless since the last time they had met, not that Shepard complained it was amazing to watch Liara flare her biotics.
Liara looked at Shepard and noticed the distant look in her eye, the way Shepard acted towards Kaiden was unusual if not strange but Liara had a hunch of what all the anger was about. Liara got up from the chair and placed a gentle hand on Shepard's shoulder; Shepard didn't move or respond to her touch but Liara sensed the turmoil within Shepard's heart as soon as she touched her.
"Shepard, are you alright, you and Kaiden never used to be this…distant" Liara asked Shepard sighed and looked down to the ground. Shepard rubbed the bridge of her nose as she closed her eyes.
"It's complicated" Shepard told her but Liara squeezed Shepard's shoulder.
"Is this about what happened on Horizon?" Liara asked as Shepard looked up at her Asari friend gazing into Liara's deep blue eyes.
"How did you…" Shepard asked but Liara smiled.
"I'm a very good information broker Shepard" Liara quirked as Shepard rolled her eyes and smiled.
"Meaning Tali told you" Shepard said as Liara gave a light laugh and nodded. Shepard laughed as she remembered Grunt telling Tali what happened on Horizon with Kaiden, she knew Grunt telling that part of the tale would come back to bite her on the ass.
"That's part of it…but he still sees me as a zombie…I know I've already lost his trust but…" Shepard trailed off as Liara watched Shepard's eyes gaze downward towards her hands.
"You don't want to loose his friendship" Liara finished off as Shepard slowly nodded. There was more to the issue with Kaiden that Shepard wanted Liara to know, Shepard had been receiving messages from Kaiden every few weeks either calling her a traitor or the fact that he was in love with her, Shepard didn't know whether to punch him or just avoid him altogether.
"Shepard what else is bothering you?" Liara asked as Shepard covered her face and nearly collapsed to the ground. Shepard felt the pull on her heart as tear fell down her face, she couldn't hold back any longer everything wanted to come out and now that Kaiden wasn't here she allowed herself to cry.
"I want to find him Liara…I need to know he's safe…I miss Garrus" Shepard spoke through her tears as she felt the Asari pull her into her arms and hug her. Shepard leant against her as she saw the images of Garrus flash in front of her eyes, each moment she spent with him. The time when she found him on Omega, the time when she confessed to him in the main battery and the rest of her team fell through the door as it opened and the time when they spent that night together before they attacked the Collector base.
"We will find him Shepard" Liara told her as she patted Shepard's head.
"I miss him Liara…I miss my mate and in six months I couldn't cry about it…I had to be Commander Shepard all the time…I just wanted to see him at least once…to hold him just once" Shepard stopped herself as she dried her eyes and tried to calm herself down.
"I know my orders…but I want to go to Palaven to see if he's alright" Shepard told Liara as the Asari nodded and offered her a hand to stand up. Shepard took her hand and stood up brushing herself off and looking round to see if Kaiden was near…he wasn't.
"I'll go check on Kaiden and see if he's made progress" Shepard told her as Liara nodded and went back to the console. Shepard was almost tempted to put her helmet back on to hide her red eyes but she could always say she was tired. Kaiden was kneeling in front of a dead Cerberus trooper; Shepard leant against the edge of the door as she looked round the area for possible battle areas.
"Anything?" Shepard asked as Kaiden turned sharply towards her, good to his see battle instincts hadn't dulled.
"Yeah this guy has a radio in his helmet" Kaiden spoke as he opened the trooper's helmet. Kaiden jumped back as Shepard walked forward.
"What the heck?" Kaiden swallowed the lump that had grown in his throat suddenly as Shepard knelt down and looked at the guy's face. His eyes and parts of his face had mutated into an almost husk form, but from the way they fought they seemed to retain their own minds plus they didn't smell as bad.
"This is the worst they've done yet" Shepard muttered as she took out the radio from the guy's helmet. Shepard felt Kaiden's eyes on her which made her feel uncomfortable.
"You mean Cerberus…is that what happened to you" Kaiden spoke as Shepard snapped round in shock.
"How could you compare me to that" Shepard snapped as she pointed to the dead trooper, Kaiden gave her a look of pity as he turned round.
"I don't know who you are Shepard…how do I know you're the real you, how do I know you're not being controlled by Cerberus, how do I know that you're still the woman I lo…" Kaiden didn't get to finish his sentence as he felt a fist connect with his jaw. Shepard slammed her fist into Kaiden's jaw, she felt the ultimate betrayal, Kaiden didn't believe who she was even though she was trying her best to show him she was still the same Shepard who listened to him about his love problems and fought along side him when the Geth attacked. The raging beast took over the moment when Kaiden said about Shepard being controlled by Cerberus, he was still so hung up over the fact that she used Cerberus that he didn't want to see the real and bigger picture. Kaiden landed on the ground as he looked up at Shepard who was flaring with Biotics as tears stung her eyes.
"She…Shepard…" Kaiden wiped the blood from his mouth as Shepard walked away not wanting to hear what he had to say.
"Liara, set up over there you might be able to flank them when they come" Shepard told Liara who helped Kaiden and nodded to Shepard. Shepard activated the radio and called to the other Cerberus team on the other end, the rouse went well as the tram line activated and everyone took their positions. Shepard took the top of the stairs with her sniper in hand while Liara and Kaiden set up behind some creates to get a clear shot at the on coming Cerberus troopers. Shepard now really wasn't in the mood, she wanted to get that data and get back to the Normandy so that she could hide him her room and…well blow off steam.