Staring out at the expanse, there was nothing like it.
Flashes of pink, purple and orange blinded me, the stars twinkling around the merging of stardust. It curved and twisted, dazzling all eyes who focussed on it. From the window of the Starboard Observation deck, the nebula before me was spread out for miles. It was amazing to watch, unlike anything I had witnessed before being taken from Mindoir. Alone and cold, isolated from the rest of the team, I sat and crossed my legs, watching that void of supposed emptiness stretch on forever.
Everyone seemed to be acquainted with the fact that I was a colony kid. Needless to say, everyone also knew that the Batarians had invaded and killed just about the entire population of my old settlement. My parents included. But no one truly knew where I stood in this. They didn't know me, nor did they know my story. And no one bothered to ask. Even if they had, I probably wouldn't have told them. For...personal reasons. What could I have possibly told them? That I had once been feral? A violent humanoid? No one would have believed me because of how thick my composure was. Behind it, there was nothing. Just the hard-assed Shepard that everyone relied on to keep them alive. There were perks; no one asked about what I did before becoming the Commander of my own ship. But it grew tiresome sometimes. Being the 'yes, ma'am' kind of people they were, every single one of them obeyed each and every word that came from my mouth. The thought of being disobeyed every once in a while was enticing, which was a feeling I had never expected myself to experience.
To be honest, the only reason I was standing there was because of chance. Pure, random chance. Admiral Anderson had seen my potential, peering around the damage I had done. And there had been a lot of damage. A lot of dead people, too. If it weren't for Admiral Anderson, I would have remained an animal on the street, killing criminals for sport and not taking any of my actions into account. He took me under his wing, unexpectedly – even after our first encounter
Wearing nothing but a torn pair of small shorts, sturdy boots and a ripped leather top, I had single-handedly become one of the most notorious criminals in the entire galaxy. It wasn't the best first impression, but at least I hadn't killed a single innocent within my lifetime. People simply assumed I did because I was almost at the top of the list. Bringing myself to do kill innocent people made absolutely no sense; there was no purpose behind the action. Besides, it would simply make me as bad as the people I wiped of the grid. No...I wasn't a murderer. And I didn't kill for money. And...I didn't think lightly of what I had done after my mind had settled finally after years of a roaming spree.
Anderson was a Captain back then. He held so much authority. After violently tearing a building in half, shutting down a slaving industry on my own, the Alliance had arrived moments later with Anderson onboard. I stalked from the wreckage, ignoring the shuttle landing alongside of me. It wasn't my intention to take no notice, but my mind was running at one million kilometres per hour and my rage still hadn't dispersed from within me yet. My boots crunched lightly against the ground – my strides even, my back straight. From the moment I heard my name called out, everything suddenly slowed down. My heartbeat hammered at my ears, my steps never completely stopping. Turning my head to face the culprit of the summon, I found a dark-skinned man standing only a few metres from me. Narrowing my eyes suspiciously at the uniform, I continued to walk, speculating and studying the situation.
"Can you understand me?" he had asked, the animalistic qualities in my bright, white eyes unnerving. "Can you respond? Shepard?"
Whether or not I spoke, they wanted me. That much was obvious – even before I knew what they were doing planet-side in a place like this. When I merely grit my teeth harder, tighter, Anderson approached closer, paying no mind to my glowing blue hands. It was simply for defence that I kept myself prepared. An assault could have come from anyone. Completely out of it all, I could hear the impending explosions from behind me. So much damage, yet such a small creature, they would say. Barely human, maddened by the neglect of my childhood, I had become the ultimate assassin, the most dangerous biotic and the most violent fighter, born to come out on top. Or perhaps I had trained myself to be that way.
Without really understanding what happened next, I was sitting inside of a medical bay, a woman taking care of my bloody wounds and burns. She gauzed them and patched every injury up, but I healed faster than anyone I had ever come across, which meant their efforts were unnecessary. After being offered to join the Alliance, my initial answer had been 'no'...but then they began to tempt me with the idea that I could become what all wanted to be. A soldier, a hero. I was only a child, around ten, but I understood perfectly what they were proposing. That my criminal record was burned and I could officially start my life off fresh. But it wasn't all that easy. Controlling my rage and honing my 'too widely spread skills' had been difficult for a long time. Keeping to myself and constantly practising, I became the Commander of my own ship. And a Spectre. A God-dammed, intimidating, hell-of-a-good-fighter, bad-assed vigilante Spectre. Just like that. They must have brought me here for a reason, but I never bothered to ask what it was. Being clueless was weakness. And I couldn't afford to be weak. Not just for my pride, but for my occupation as well. For the people who looked upon me in a time of need. For whoever and whatever turned their eyes upon me for answers.
I never really had a name. Shepard was the only tie I had left with the people I used to live with. Referring to them as 'family' would have been inaccurate. Having to find my own food and look after myself from day one, I knew I had been long abandoned before I could even speak. Having never thought about it much, never actually needing a name, people just called me 'Shepard'. When they had enough guts to even speak to me, one brave Lieutenant had requested to know what my first name was. Perplexed, I hadn't known what to tell him. So I thought for a moment before hesitantly replying with, "Blaire."
Blaire Shepard? It wasn't perfect, but it was a name. And there were no ridiculous nicknames to follow along with it. Just...Blaire. To be honest, the name came to me when reading the words, 'WARNING, FIRE MAY BLAZE' on the back of one of the fire extinguishers, but I never finished reading the sentence before 'Blaire' came to mind. It was hard to believe I had come from a family at all, never having been given a name. Disgraceful was what Anderson said it was. But I was too focussed on succeeding in my training, needing to wear myself out as much as I could in order to prove just how far my abilities ranged.
Every single human on my vessel was stunned to hear that I could actually speak several languages, intergalactic and otherwise. There was really no need for me to use a translator, so I often turned it off just for the experience of having a normal conversation with another species. Docking was never an issue with aliens because I knew exactly what they were saying and how to reply. Though I couldn't deny that English was my most fluent tongue. A lot of the alien dialect sounded too strange to be comprehendible with my accent and inability – for any human – to mimic their tones – husky, rough, flanging or otherwise.
The journey from where I had begun had me meeting a lot of interesting people. No matter the race, gender or species, every single one of them had a different persona – different qualities that set them apart from everyone else. Despite my coldness and seamless composure, my interest in them were still there, but I kept from expressing myself, as always, unless I was blowing up in a fit of pure rage. No one ever missed those moments, always aware of when I was infuriated by something.
What had me the most the majority of the time – aside from the dynamics of my ship – was the Citadel Council. Even after saving their lives, they still refused to believe me about the threat looming near. The Reapers were coming. It wouldn't be long before they were upon us. After becoming a Spectre, a lot had really dawned on me. Saren opened my eyes to so much. If we hadn't killed him, I probably should have thanked him. Though that was just my wry sarcasm talking.
Ridiculously enough, after watching Saren kill himself before defeating his husk, saving the Destiny Ascension with the Council onboard and killing Sovereign with my team right behind me, we were sent to illuminate more Geth out in the Terminus Systems. Supposedly I had become this 'humanity symbol'. I stood for the humans. I stood for our species. It was unexpected to have found myself in this position, considering that I had been a mindless beast only a few years beforehand.
Absolutely nothing obstructed our way on our search. All was silent, the crew growing tense, fully aware that this was a waste of time. They kept silent, though, allowing Pressly to do all of the raging. It was shocking – how good he was at arguing back at Joker – no matter the topic – though neither of them were really in the mood for banter. A good thing, too, otherwise they probably wouldn't have had enough time to prepare for the next painful minutes.
From the moment that the alarms went off, I knew that something had happened without word of warning. No one had been prepared for this attack. After forcing Kaidan Alenko into the nearest escape pod and hauling Joker from his 'baby's' cockpit, everything was beginning to pan out. Until I spun around. A beam of intense yellow fire blasted away at the Normany's remains, knocking me out of the way in the process. Joker's voice was audible over the sound of the blazing fire and crumbling debris. My name, I could hear, but I was too focussed on sending off his escape pod. Managing with only seconds to spare, I was thrown off balance and into the nearest wall, my suit colliding in the exact wrong place. As the oxygen faded from within my suit, my lungs quivered and throbbed from inside of my chest. Draining the life from my body, I was spaced, falling into the nearest planet's orbit to greet my unexpected fate.
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