Just a very short prologue here with the introduction of my Shepard. Her specialization is infiltrator, though that will not be of real importance, this story will be more character/relationship focused with only light action/combat.
I also feel like I should apologize to George Gershwin for the blatant theft of the title. However, it was already used by my favorite sci-fi show, Farscape, so I hope the great man is not doing somersaults in his grave.
The rest of the Normandy cast will be showing up in the next chapter. In the meanwhile, I welcome all feedback - I'm not used to writing in ME-verse, so I tend to worry if it's any good. Please, do let me know your thoughts. :)
Prologue - First Human Spectre
As the first human Spectre, your actions represent and reflect on the whole of humanity. Remember this, Shepard. You are the example by which humanity will be judged. Make us all proud.
The words said by Ambassador Udina and Captain Anderson ring in her ears for days after SSV Normandy has left Citadel space. They have not been said with the intent to put more pressure on her, merely a keen reminder of what is at stake, and serving as a kind of pep-talk. With the logical part of her mind, she understands implicitly what has been asked of her. Emotionally, the stress and the pressure are not as easy to handle, and the effort to always act confident and assured during her public appearances takes its toll. Sleep does not come easy during nights, but as days roll by, she learns to live with the pressure, to accept it.
Often, she finds herself standing at the mirror in the captain's quarters on Normandy, staring at her own reflection and finding it difficult to believe that this young woman before her has already achieved so much. The face looking back at her is reasonably attractive, slightly narrowed eyes that some claim to be green, others swear are of pale grey. An errant lock of red hair escapes the otherwise tidily backwards swept hair, formed into a simple ponytail. Her cheeks are dotted with freckles and the retrousse nose has been described by many as extremely cute, but she dislikes both of these features for they make her appear even younger than the tender age of twenty-nine.
She turns away from the mirror, her eyes fixed on the collection of medals and awards fastened to the wall of her quarters, just above the small writing desk. More than most marines will obtain in their whole career, that is her tally over eleven years of distinguished service. The reason why not only the Alliance High Command, but the very Galactic Council has noticed her, has considered her as a candidate for the prestigious Spectres.
One medal amongst them all shines brighter and makes her heart swell with pride and at the same time, ache in sadness over the loss of life suffered that day. The Star of Terra, awarded for courageous and distinguished service above and beyond the call of duty.
She was praised as a hero of humanity for her actions during the Skyllian Blitz, the raid of batarian slavers on the human colony of Elysium. That was seven years ago, but the memories are still very vivid, and her dreams often take her back to that fateful day. Half of her scars acquired during her career were earned in that attack. Gunshot wounds to the leg, knife in the shoulder, and that was just the start.
Her squad mates died in droves next to her, caught by the surprise attack of the batarians. She remembers using the bodies of the fallen, some of them her friends, as makeshift barricades to hide behind and fire pot-shots at the batarian slavers, spreading throughout the colony and killing anything that moved, civilians included. In the end, she was left all alone when the reinforcements finally came. Barely alive, they pulled her from a pile of bodies, human and batarian alike, at first assuming her to be dead, shocked when she reached out to grab one of the marines by the hand.
What followed was several months of recovery. The physical wounds healed fast. The mental scars took longer, but the Alliance made sure she got the best help available. Then came the awards, the publicity, the recognition of her heroic actions. Now, many years had passed since then, but she never lost the feeling as if that one day, those several hours, had changed something in her forever.
That was seven years ago. And it had been worth it. Her actions had brought her where she stood now, today. In the perfect position to help advance the goals of the human race, and to make a difference for the whole galaxy.
It is year 2183CE.
She is Commander Morgan Shepard and the hopes of humanity rest on her shoulders.
She will not fail.