May 29, 2020 4:29 PM
Wisterias & Storms in Mass Effect
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"And Commander Shepard rolls off the tongue."

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She clicks her fingers. "Oh, you got me there." 

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"Good to see you still have your wit. How are you feeling?"

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Well, isn't that just civil of him? 

"Like my skin's about to fall off, quite frankly. Lawson mentioned something about having to get me up early." 

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"It's unfortunate. But ultimately the best decision."

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"I will have to defer to you on that decision. I was dead, after all. Not many people expect to get back up after getting spaced."

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"We are at war. Nobody wants to admit it, but humanity is under attack. We needed Commander Shepard."

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"Admiral, Lieutenant, and Sergeant Shepard weren't enough?"

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"You defeated Sovereign."

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If she wanted to be pedantic, she would point out that a lot of ships with very big guns defeated Sovereign. She was a little busy with the Reaperised former Spectre. 

"Sure. But you spent a ridiculous amount of money on what will end up being a figurehead, when you could've built some ships. And then handed them to the Alliance."

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"You're more valuable than a dozen ships."

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"Well, gee, Tim, gotta buy a girl dinner before you start flattering her like that." 

Not that her entire body went cold at the notion. Romola Shepard, the only person that can fight the Reapers? Surely the fuck not.

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"While you were dead entire colonies have gone missing. Human colonies. We believe it's someone working for the Reapers. Just as Saren and the geth aided Sovereign. You've seen it yourself. You bested all of them. That just one reason we chose you."

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Destroying entire colonies? "Like Eden Prime. Did they each have some kind of Prothean technology?"

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"There are no known Prothean connections."

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"No known-" Romy stops as a thought hits her. Were humans being attacked...because she was human? Fucking hell, no. No, humans were not the most powerful race in the Galaxy, there would be no- Fuck. 

She didn't know enough. She could spiral when she had more information. "What do we know, then? And what does the Alliance know? What are they doing about it, for that matter."

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"They suffered substantial losses fighting Sovereign. They're rebuilding, still stretched too thin to waste resources verifying the Reaper threat. Blaming the abductions on mercs and pirates is easier. And more convenient."

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"A visible enemy is less frightening." Romy rubbed her face, sighing. "Right. Well. Let's say for arguments sake I'm willing to get involved. What's our plan?"

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"I'd be disappointed if you accepted any of this without seeing for yourself. I have a shuttle ready to take you to Freedom's Progress, the latest colony to be abducted. Athena and Alenko will brief you."

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Right. Get to work, Shepard. 

"Right." She goes to step off the platform. 

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"Find any clues you can. Who's abducting the colonies? Do they have any connections to the Reapers? I brought you back. It's up to you to do the rest."

And with that, he disconnects.

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She finds her way back to the room Lawson said she'd be waiting in on muscle memory alone. She's pretty sure she looks how she feels. 

Fucking wrecked. 

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She finds Athena working at a terminal.

"The Illusive Man is very impressed with you. I'm eager to see if you can live up to his expectations on this mission."

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"I think you'll find I give less than a flying fuck about what the Illusive Man or Cerberus as a whole thinks of me, and I care even less about his expectations. I'm doing this because I would anyway." 

Romy sits in a chair nearest Athena. "Can we work something out with my half-functioning body? Or is this just me now?" She's exaggerating. But she's tired. And confused. And half wanting to just go back to being dead.

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"We will be taking one of the medical shuttles to Freedom's Progress. There is a state of the art Regeneration Chamber installed. It will speed your healing along. Most likely you will be spending most of your unconscious hours in one of them for the foreseeable future."

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