Hi, friends! I finished my first ever playthrough of the Mass Effect Trilogy on Monday. Best. Game. EVER! Honestly, I consider the series on par with some of my favorite books. The characters, plot, settings, and pure emotion make this more than a game series. Mass Effect is a masterpiece of art and storytelling, plain and simple.
I suppose I'm in the minority in that I liked the ending. I chose the Synthesis ending and it was truly beautiful. I thought I'd be angered at the "pick your favorite color" ending, but I had no complaints. It seemed logical: The Crucible was built, the people were fighting, and the one person to make it inside the Crucible is offered the choice to destroy the enemy, control it, or make peace with it. It fit. Even Shepard's death didn't make me angry. It just…all seemed to come together.
This fic originally started as a multi-chapter Garrus/FShep idea I had planned for awhile, but it turned into a few-chapter Heaven!Legion/FShep fic. Go figure. My Shepard is named Sorane Shepard and she was a Vanguard BADASS with the colonist/sole survivor backstory. Rest in Peace, Hero of the Citadel…
In her mind's eye, she saw the faces of those who went before her: Ashley, Mordin, Thane, Legion, Miranda, and Anderson. In a blinding flash of emerald light, she felt as if she could reach out and touch their faces one by one. She reached, but she had no hand with which to touch.
Her essence dissolved. Her green eyes blinked once, closed for the last time.
She wondered why she had closed her eyes in the end. Was she tired? No… She wasn't tired, nor was she particularly awake. Her eyes had closed in satisfaction, because sight could never encompass the reality of what was and what always would be.
Hm… No one ever used her first name. Who was calling her? The voice was so soothing, somehow familiar. She didn't want to open her eyes yet. She couldn't open them even if she wished to. She had no eyes to open, no eyelids to unfold.
There was nothing to move, nothing to control. She simply was.
She knew that voice, knew the soothing combination of metal and electricity which coated that familiar sound. Where was he?
Must focus. Work to do. Shouldn't take too much time.
Time for what? Another remembered voice…
Corporal form. Must take form. No more lollygagging. Come, come Shepard!
Mordin? She tried to call out, but a being without a mouth or voice box cannot make a sound.
You need to remember who and what you are, Shepard-Commander. Think of yourself as a body and your thoughts will manifest themselves in this reality. It is simple.
Come, Shepard. It is time to cross the sea.
Sorane, my child. We are waiting for you.
She remembered standing in the Citadel. The metal was so solid under her feet. Her heels clanged against the floor as she curled her toes in her boots. She remembered clenching her fists in rage, her heart pounding. Pounding.
She blinked up at the metal roof and looked around. She was back in the chamber where she had met the Catalyst, but there was no holographic child waiting for her. Instead, two people were standing in the green light, two people she had not seen since she was sixteen.
"Mom? Dad?" Her voice sounded almost childlike and she placed a hand on her face to make sure she was still the right age. She was. Her thoughts, however, were suddenly those of a scared teenage girl.
Her father, a tall, kind-faced man with green eyes that matched her own, held out his hand. "Hey there, kiddo."
Her mother, a slender but muscular woman whose hair was even more golden than her daughter's, was blinking rapidly. "My dear Sorane…"
Immediately, Sorane Shepard ran across the metal path and into her parents' arms. She buried her face in their shoulders and sobbed as she had never dared to sob before. She relinquished all control over her emotions and they flew around her, for there was no true body to contain them anymore.
Her joy turned to silver stardust in the surrounding air, swirling into patterns of fireworks and flowers. Her sadness dripped to the ground in loud, blue-gray raindrops. Her anger struck and scorched the endless sky in the form of red, scar-like lightning. Above all, love pulsed from her body, forming an aura of green and gold around the three embracing forms. For a moment, her body began to dissolve into the colors.
"Sorane." Her father's voice was gentle, but sharp.
"Huh?" Shepard sniffed loudly and backed away, feeling the particles of her body and the colors of her emotions join firmly with the rest of her being.
"Careful, now. It's easy to lose yourself here." He ruffled her short, boyish hair with a calloused hand.
"Where exactly is 'here'?" Already, she could feel her Alliance instincts returning and her voice took on its usual to-the-point tone. "Am I dead?"
"Yes, dear." Shepard's mother nodded, her eyes still glittering with tears. "You gave your life to save the galaxy. They will live for many peaceful ages, millennia upon millennia. I couldn't be more proud of you."
Shepard's brows furrowed and she stared at the ground. "Right… Synthesis… How did I forget already?"
"This is the realm of spirits. It is easy to lose yourself and forget things. The thoughts and dreams of all exist here, as do their souls.
"So, Heaven looks like the Citadel?" Shepard couldn't help but snort. "Well, shit! I was ripped off."
"Sorane." This time, her mother's voice held a stern tone.
Shepard's father suppressed a snicker before explaining. "This is what you envisioned when you gave your soul its preferred shape. So, here we are. It's different for everyone. Your friend Thane saw the edge of a vast sea and joined us on a boat after meeting his wife."
"Thane…" Shepard felt a smile coming to her face. "I heard him. I heard…everyone. Are they all waiting for me?"
Her mother touched her cheek. "They are, love. We'd best not keep them waiting."
Each of Shepard's parents took one of her hands and began to guide her toward the green energy beam, which looked so similar to the one that had just ended her life. A thought surfaced and the fallen hero stopped in her tracks. "My friends… Tali, Garrus, Wrex, Grunt, EDI, Joker … Everyone…"
Her father stopped walking and looked back at her. His eyes were full of sympathy as he squeezed her hand.
"You will watch over them, Sorane." Her mother whispered, cupping her cheek. "They will live in a new world, a good one. You will all be together again. Until then, watch over them as we watched over you for sixteen years."
Shepard sniffed loudly and nodded. "I will." Taking a deep breath, blinking tears from her eyes, she followed her parents into the green light.
When she opened her eyes again, Shepard was in a field of pale blue grass. Glass violets and metal dandelions bloomed on prism stems, shining as twin suns touched their petals and leaves, making tiny light shows on the ground. Shepard noticed that one of the suns was silver while the other was greenish gold. There was even a reddish-orange crescent moon hovering in the purple sky.
Before she could drown in the beauty of her surroundings, a voice caused her to turn: "Shepard-Commander?"
She turned and found herself face to flashlight with her old friend. "Legion!" She threw her arms around the geth's metal shoulders, hugging him tightly. "I knew it! I always knew it. I knew you had… I just knew!"
"Because of the open nature of thoughts here, your statement requires no clarification. Yes, I truly have a soul. In the end, I did not doubt this." When Shepard pulled away, she noticed that Legion's head flaps were up. "It is…good to see you again. Your decision at the Citadel was the preferable one. Judging by all collected data, you did well."
"Is that all? I think I deserve an 'amazing' at least." Shepard grinned jokingly before looking around. "Where did my parents go?"
"They wished to give you time to become reacquainted with your former companions. I do not understand why. There is an eternity to speak with you now."
"C'mon, Legion. You should know that I hate waiting, even with eternity to spare."
The plates on his head flickered. "That is correct. You never enjoyed waiting. Do you wish to go now?" The flaps went down and the light dimmed as his tone briefly deepened. He didn't want her to leave just yet.
Shepard shook her head. "I said that I hate waiting. I don't give a damn about making other people wait!" She sat down in the grass and touched one of the glass violets. Her fingernail made a soft "ping" sound against the petals. "Let's get caught up before I get swept away by my other adoring soldiers."
"Very well." Legion looked for a moment like he was going to remain standing, but thankfully lowered himself to the ground as well.
'Good thing. Standing up again would be annoying…'
"What are your thoughts, Shepard-Commander?"
Shepard took a deep breath, running a hand through her short hair. "I did what I wanted to do. I saved the galaxy and most of my friends. I just wish… I just wish that I could have saved everyone." She fixed her green gaze pointedly on Legion.
The head flaps went up again. "I do not regret my death. It was necessary to save my people. You would have done the same. You did." He folded his hands in a surprisingly human gesture. "This place is a good one. I enjoy existing here."
"So, being here means that you can…?"
Legion nodded. "I can fully comprehend organic thoughts and emotions. You can now understand synthetics. There are no limitations here. Did your thoughts and emotions manifest themselves outside of your body when you first arrived?" When Shepard nodded, Legion's light flashed once. "That was an example of consensus: the ability to meld your soul and essence with everything and everyone around you. That is the essence of geth existence."
Shepard's eyes lit up. "So, this is what Synthesis is like for everyone back home?"
"Precisely." Legion affirmed.
"It's amazing…" She smiled in bemusement before placing a hand on the geth's arm. "I never got to thank you. If you hadn't opened my eyes, hadn't shown me the truth about your people, I would have…" She glanced to the side, remembering another option that she had been offered, the option to destroy all synthetic life.
Legion's head flaps fluttered before flattening. "I do not think that you would have performed that action, even if we had never met. You consider EDI to be one of your closest friends. By analyzing past records, I can come to the conclusion that you would have been 94.3 % likely to choose the Synthesis option to save EDI alone."
"Yeah, true." Shepard shrugged a shoulder, grinning slightly. "I look out for my own."
"Speaking of 'your own', there are others who wish to converse with you and would not like for me to monopolize your time." Again, the head flaps flickered. This time, they seemed to do so in mild irritation. "I do not understand the haste, except in the case of Mordin."
"Mordin?" Shepard tilted her head. "What do you mean?"
Legion glanced to the side. "I will take you to the others, then to him. He wished to be the last to see you."
As they began to walk, Shepard took stock of her surroundings again. "This is a beautiful place." She mused. "Does all of the afterlife look like this?"
"No. Each soul has a domain of its own that can be changed in accordance to that soul's thoughts. This place is a construct of my own mind."
"Never realized you had such an eye for color." Shepard murmured, marveling at the shining flowers and twin moons.
"Stored images of various worlds provided the template. I chose images and colors that were more aesthetically pleasing than others and applied them to the design." The geth's tone was dismissive, but there was an underlying hum of pride in his voice.
Afterward, there was a blur of hugs and tears. Ashley was the first to greet her, inviting her to try some homemade cakes in her ebony-walled cottage. Miranda hosted her old Commander in a stunning replica of her office on the Normandy SR-2, though this one was much bigger and had several moving images of crystalline animals in the walls. Steve introduced her to his husband Robert and the three had a long, cheerful dinner by the fireplace of a stylish condo. Thane and his wife Irikah spoke with her for hours over several cups of deliciously bitter green tea while sitting in a rose-sand desert. Anderson had little to say, but they sat for many hours (or so it felt) in silence looking over a mountain range that housed thousands of gold and bronze falcons.
Mordin, of course, was in a lab. Shepard found him looking at test tubes of stardust and vials of golden light. "What causes mental control? All substances share common element. But what?" He only looked up when Shepard cleared her throat. "Ah! Shepard! Good to see you. Very good. Excellent job on the Crucible, truly excellent! Came to visit before I go."
"Where are you going, Mordin?" Shepard leaned on the table, eying one of the shimmering vials.
"Going back. Waste of soul to stay here. Must go back. Live again. Too quiet here, too quiet."
"So, reincarnation is possible?"
"Yes, yes. Of course." Mordin placed the test tubes on a rack. "Anything possible. Must choose to go, however. I'm choosing early. Earlier than most. Most want to rest. Most want to waste."
"I see…" Shepard swallowed, suddenly feeling a lump growing in her throat. She had lost Mordin on Tuchanka, only to lose him again here.
"No need for sadness, Shepard." Mordin reassured her. "Will still remember you when life ends again. Will visit, then go back. Can remember other lives. Always the same choice. Always went back."
"You can remember past lives? How?"
"All of us can. Just have to think. Concentrate. Not now, though. Want to show you where I'm going. Who I'll be."
"Oh! Of course!" Shepard nodded eagerly. If she couldn't catch up with Mordin in the afterlife, she could at least watch over him after his rebirth.
"Follow." Mordin beckoned eagerly, his large eyes blinking rapidly. As soon as Shepard touched his hand, she was standing on a rocky surface staring at a familiar krogan.
"Eve…" Shepard reached out to touch her friend on the arm, only to see her hand go through it.
"Can't see us. No bodies. Only feelings. Can feel us, sometimes. Look." Mordin walked over to Eve's other side and allowed his hand to pass through her shoulder.
The krogan stiffened and looked around. For a moment, her synthetic green eyes grew brighter and she seemed to smile.
Mordin sighed before turning to Shepard. "Eggs in her. If lucky, will still have my name when reborn."
Shepard looked from the salarian to the krogan shaman and felt a tender smile come to her face. "Look at how far you've come, Mordin…" She murmured. "No one could have done more for the krogan people. Now, you'll be the son of the woman you saved." She wiped her eyes. "Being a krogan will be a hell of a life. Think you can handle it?"
Mordin proudly straightened his back. "Mental capabilities, if passed on to krogan body, will serve well in combat and survival. Can handle it. Will know no other life until death again." He looked at Eve's swelling belly. "Eggs will come soon. Then hatch. Will leave then."
"I see." Shepard nodded slowly, a tear trickling down her cheek. "I wish you luck, Mordin Solus."
"Will be Urdnot Mordin soon!" The salarian declared, taking his Commander's hand as they returned immediately to the lab. As they walked in, Shepard noticed that the lab was overlooking a seashell-strewn beach.
"Could you sing me the whole Scientist Salarian song before you go?"
Mordin, who had been in the process of grabbing another test tube, immediately withdrew his hands and nodded. "Delighted, Shepard! Delighted!"
Shepard closed her eyes and smiled to herself as her old friend began to sing that familiar song.
"I am the very model of a scientist salarian
I study species turian, asari, and batarian…"
*sniffle* During the epilogue, when the people who died were shown, Legion looked toward the screen and his little head flaps went up… Anyway, this fic will probably be two or three chapters. It has some head-canon in it, such as the idea that Mordin is reincarnated into the baby krogan Mordin. I'll try to update this soon and maybe type a successful first chapter for my Garrus/FShep fic. Peace out!