Prologue – The Butcher of Torfan

A/N:

I'm setting this in ME1 though it might continue into ME3. It will be slightly AU-ish since I'm futzing with the timeline and adding Hackett in places that he might not have been. There will be a few spoilers here and there, but mostly the story is going to be "scenes" that weren't in the game so to speak.

I am rating this M for language mostly.

The Shepard in this series was a Earthborn, Renegade and the infamous butcher of Torfan.

Read. Enjoy. Review. Be sure to review and let me know if this is worth exploring completely.

They called her the Butcher of Torfan. All Admiral Hackett could see from his vantage point across the room was a beautiful woman. She was lithe with spiky red hair and piercing green eyes. The hearing into the events on Torfan had been going on for days. Shepard looked beyond annoyed at the constant questions. Hackett couldn't really say that he blamed her either. Politics were always an annoyance for the soldiers who had to fight the battles.

Once the hearings were over, Hackett found Shepard nursing a beer at a bar nearby. He took a seat beside her but was surprised at the hostile glare that the Commander sent his way.

"I come in peace." He watched the suspicion grow in her eyes instead of fade. "I'm not here to interrogate you, I promise."

Shepard turned back to the drink in her hand. "Then why are you here, Admiral?"

"I thought perhaps you should know that not everyone at Alliance Command thinks your actions were questionable." He waved the bartender over and ordered a scotch. "You made a tough decision and it was the right one, maybe not the right one, but the only one that could be made at the time."

Shepard looked at him for a long while without speaking. He got the feeling that she was taking his measure. He met her gaze without flinching. He waited patiently for her to figure out whatever it was she was trying to determine. It gave him time to notice the old scar that ran through her right eyebrow. There was newer one that ran down her right cheek. It was barely healed and probably came from the fight with the batarians.

"Should I thank you for that?"

He looked back into her eyes to find the hostility was still there. "I'm on your side, Shepard."

"With all due respect, Admiral, you don't know anything about me beyond what is in my dossier. And I know for a fact that nothing in my file is … conventional." Shepard slid her empty beer bottle across the bar counter to the bartender.

Hackett found himself smiling at the sheer lack of deference the Commander was showing him. She wasn't in awe of his title and it was refreshing. "You aren't the only Alliance Marine with an unconventional history."

For the first time, he saw an unguarded look of surprise cross her face before it was hidden. He lifted his glass in a salute, emptied the glass and then he set it down on the bar and walked away without another word. Shepard stared after him for a few moments before turning back to her beer. A ping on her omni-tool caught her attention and she pulled up her new orders. She was being reassigned to Captain Anderson's command.

"Here we go again," she muttered to herself before heading towards the door.