Well guys. This is it.
Another shoutout to 1054SS325MP, Kellise, and Geezuz. You guys have been great!
|Location: The Vacuum of Space.|
His oxygen reserves were minutes away from coughing empty.
One of the worst ways he ever wanted to go, he mused quietly to himself.
He had, after being sucked out of the Denmark, made it a sole priority to survive for as long as he could.
And it looked like his chances of coming through with that priority looked good.
The very ship that had gotten them off the planet drifted by. Shepard, despite his labored breaths, smiled.
He jettisoned himself to the ship and got inside.
John's smile waned back into nothing. The vessel was permanently out of commission. He was doomed.
Regardless of the fact, he closed the open hatch behind him before strapping himself into the helm.
It wasn't long before his denial turned to anger. Then to depression. And eventually, to acceptance.
He wept anyways. But this time, it was alone, without a shoulder to lean on. No hand to reach for. Or a way to pull him from the darkness that consumed him.
And for all he knew, everyone was dead. And soon enough, he would be too.
His breaths came in mighty heaves not for his own looming death, but for the mere idea that Tali hadn't made it. He cried and cradled his helmet for the chance he'd lost.
"God, Damnit." He slurred through a choked sob, "Fuck."
He cuffed his emotions and took in a deep breath to calm himself down.
Crying certainly wasn't going to help. And he didn't know for sure Tali was gone.
It was best to take the time he had left and use it to make a message if anyone were to find him.
He turned on his omni-tool, took several more shaky breaths, and pressed the record button.
"Lieutenant Commander John Shepard, acting captain of the SSV Normandy, Log... 843."
He closed his eyes and felt oxygen deprivation start to take its toll.
He had to make this fast.
"I decided to record this message in the event that someone does eventually discover my remains." John started.
"This is for my crew... sorry if it sounds rushed. I haven't had much time to think of a parting speech."
His humor actually surprised him, but he went with it.
"The honor was mine friends. To lead you, to fight beside you, and be a part of the Normandy and her people. I'm gonna miss you all."
His breaths turn hurried and thin.
"I don't...— have much time…" He coughed as he thought of what he really wanted this message to be about.
"Tali…?" He said as he thought of her, "You have given me so much to look forward to in my life... I'm so sorry I won't be joining you in the end... and I'm sorry I won't be able to fulfill— anyofmypromises."
John took another empty breath of nothing and kept talking.
"Thank you, Tali… for everything… You live happy, long, and— Well… okay?"
Another empty breath, just to keep the words going.
"Everything will work out for you, Tali— take my word for it… for my sake… you have to move on—"
He squeezed his eyes shut and put every ounce of his focus in his memory of her.
In his final seconds, John took his last breath, and smiled sadly.
"—Don't you let me down. I'm so sorry this is how it ends. I'm sorry. And, Tali?"
There was a sizable pause as his gaze went glassy. "I love you."
He ended the recording, set aside his arm, and closed his eyes.
"To us, Tals" He murmured sadly, "To us."