Summary of "We are family"
This summary is meant to help if you want to read the later parts of this story. It only lists that information which is special, for example decisions that have to be made in the adventure or things that normally wouldn't happen (especially about the surviving of some npcs).
"We are family" describes the events from immediately after the Battle of the Citadel (ME1) until the time six months before Shepard's awakening (ME2). It is a sequel to "Two Coins" and prequel to "Hero reborn".
Part 1: Udina's Recovery
To recover from the wounds he took on Virmire the Spectre Rory Udina (nephew of Ambassador Udina) is brought to a STG medical center on the salarian home world Sur'Kesh. He is held in artificial coma and has dire nightmares about the events seven years ago, as he had a car accident which caused the death of his sister Cathleen.
This enhanced brain activity endangered his recovery. Ganto Imness (STG officer and rescued thru Rory on Virmire) convinced Spectre Jondum Bau and the STG officials to allow a visit of Rory's mother. After that the recovery went on much more smoothly.
The required operations, especially the new artificial nerves, led to an enhanced reaction time of Rory but diminished his biotic abilities.
Part 2: Udina's Crew
Spectre Rory Udina, no more member of the Alliance Navy, was given command of the Ithaca, an armored freighter, for his missions (officially a joint venture of Salarians and Humans like the Turian/Human-Normandy but on a lesser scale) and started to gather a crew:
Lieutenant Commander Ganto Imness, Salarian STG-Officer and XO
Second Lieutenant Tamara Brant, Codename Falcon, Human Marine Sharpshooter
Shiala, Asari Scientist and Biotic, former acolyte of Benezia
Lia'Vael nar Ulnay, Quarian Technician, on her pilgrimage
Sergeant Jenkins, Human Marine
Dr. Michel, Human Physician
Lizbeth Baynham, Human Scientist
Most other positions on board were filled with Salarians.
Author's note: Tamara aka Falcon is my own character, all others you'll find in the ME-wiki and are part of ME1 and/or ME2
Part 3: Shepard's Death
After a short visit to Ilos where they found the VI Vigil destroyed, Shepard led the Normandy on an investigation near Alchera. They were ambushed by a Collector ship, the Normandy was destroyed and Shepard killed. Before a recovery mission under the command of Kaidan Alenko reached Alchera a group of Blue Sons scavenged the site and found the corpse of Shepard. They brought him to Omega and started an auction.
I didn't want to rewrite the events around Liara and Shepard's body. If you want to read about that search for the comic "Mass effect: Redemption". The only change I made so far was that Liara was not alone but had Garrus accompanying her.
The surviving crewmembers parted ways:
Liara: information broker on Illium
Garrus: working as a mercenary on Omega, partly for Aria, in conflict with Blue Suns
Tali'Zorah: back at the Quarian Flotilla
Wrex: back on Tuchanka
Kaidan Alenko, promoted to Lieutenant Commander, serving as a special agent for the admiralty
Engineer Adams: as instructor on Earth
Dr. Chakwas: working in a medical center on Mars
Joker: stranded on Earth
Ashley Williams: promoted to First Lieutenant and undergoing N7-Training, serving on the TSS Batavia (a ship working in the Terminus systems, giving technical help to human settlements) as Ground Operations Leader under the command of Rear Admiral Kahoku
Ashley learned from Councilor Anderson that she didn't owe her promotion to commissioned officer and her admission to N7-training to the support of Shepard (whom she still loved) but the circumstance that Rory Udina more or less blackmailed (with the Luna mission) Admiral Hacket in treading her fairly and only following her performances, disregarding her family name.
Udina visited Garrus and Liara. On Illium he got to know (thru Shiala) the Asari bartender Aethyta, Liara's father. He started a tight mail contact with Liara.
Part 4: Udina's Missions
Udina's crew executed some missions, most of them about battling smugglers or crime lords in the outer parts of Citadel space.
On a double mission fighting biotic terrorists and extremists he was forced to cooperate with Kaidan Alenko. This led to further tensions between Udina and Alenko, especially because he was able (with the support of Shiala) to convince the jury on the Citadel that the human admiralty started the conflict with "Father Kyle" and tried to put the blame on him.
Udina helped Liara to identify the observer (an agent of the Shadowbroker), but convinced Liara to spare her life to be able to control the information flow.
On Bekenstein Udina's crew intervened in a conflict between Donovan Hock's men and a group of pirates under the leadership of Jack. He arrested her.
Author's hint: Unknown to him this led to Jack hold in custody on purgatory following the plans of Cerberus.
In the Asgard system the crew was able to stop Batarian terrorists that tried to exterminate the Terra Nova settlement with the asteroid X57. The Batarian Leader is able to escape. There were hints about a human party that planned the whole disaster to spark a war between Humans and Batarians.
The story ended with Rory Udina giving an interview to Emily Wong, speaking about the cooperation between the races and his hope of a real peace between Humans and Batarians.