[size13[font "Segoe Print" I'm a huge fan of the Mass Effect trilogy and I've already started writing a fan fic for fem Shepard and Garrus but I'm starting to struggle a little and would love for someone to help me out.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" It's been 10 years since the events of Mass Effect 3 have taken place, Shepard survived the reaper explosion at the very end of the game. But instead of returning to the Citadel she decided to remain dead and live a 'normal' life on a human planet called Neria. It was a basic planet and not really kept on the council radar. A simple trading planet. Shepard hasn't been to the citadel since the mission and now she must fly there as the regular pilot has injured himself.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" Thinking it was going to be a quick drop off and wanting to wait in the ship she finds herself in a hallway next to customs waiting for the ship to be unloaded. ]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I will go into more details if anyone is interested this is just a basic opening, as I said this is a fan fiction and would just like some ideas thrown at me lol. I would be playing Shepard as it's mainly from her point of view.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" Please no time wasters as this is special to me. Would preferably like someone who has finished the games or basically knows what happened.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I also like something to work with. So I would need another writer who is happy to do 1500+ characters.]]
[size13[font "Segoe Print" I also understand not posting everyday, I can't do it myself. Once a week or even 2 weeks is fine. Any longer then please let me know, I hate it when people drop threads without telling me and I'm left waiting. But other than that it will be lots of fun and I love twists! So any ideas throw them my way!"
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He noticed the minuscule smile right away. No doubt Shepard understood his current method, the many years together fighting and loving side-by-side forming that bond which allowed for comprehension of the other.
Having amnesia as an excuse for bad memories seemed very convenient, especially with the whole disappearance thing going on. But what if Shepard truly had amnesia? This thought unsettled Garrus a bit, for he’d seen people suffer memory loss after a single battle; Shepard had been through above and beyond what any regular soldier had experienced, what if she truly had lost memories. Many years of all sorts of memories vanished just like that, a slight press of a trigger and blam.
He had asked her the circumstances concerning her arrival, but an answer he received not. Although maybe he didn’t need to as Shepard could simply state about either being born there or no memories due to amnesia.
His head lit a figurative lightbulb. While so far Shepard successfully masked her disguise, at this moment she had erred. Now while anyone could’ve joked around, if one wanted to keep their disguise then their manner of speech needed consistency. Shepard joked but it lacked the consistency in the mannerism of Ms.Claire Williams. Hearing the mannerism of Jane Shepard, Garrus could hear all the past memories he’d enjoyed spending time by her side. Viewing the present, he heard the past from various points in time.
Here the present continued, and Garrus didn’t know how to react. For all his training and thinking, nothing would’ve prepared for this impossibility. He knew the person in front of him was Jane Shepard, and here she was leaving once again. Shepard already had once disappeared just like that, and then came back mysteriously; But after this disappearance she’d never return, normally or mysteriously.
[+red “Goodbye Garrus”], those were the words that gave him that emotional spark to act. The moment Shepard capped her head Garrus stood up and slowly walked into a jog and then into a full blown run. The door hadn’t even opened halfway before Garrus laid his hands on Shepard and pushed her against the wall while closing the door with a kick of his right foot. He instantly went in for a pin, the cold metal left arm armor pressing against the wall trapping her neck while his right arm pressed her chest and arms into the wall.
Hardly a noise, an eerily awkward fog filling the atmosphere. And then Garrus locked his pale blue eyes with the vibrant green of Shepard’s. His hands began shaking, rapid blinking as he felt tears pooling in his eyes. [+blue “Shepard, I.....”], his hands suddenly dropping away and taking a few steps backwards. Using his right arm Garrus brushed away the forming tears, but only more came to replace the wiped away ones splattered in his hand. He opened his mouth to speak but nothing came out, the hands clenching and unclenching. [+blue “I can’t... I can’t lose you again..”], a voice straining from breaking and filled with sadness.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard could slowly feel the panic rising within her, it was only a matter of time before Garrus would ask her something only they knew and she would crumble in front of him, there was no where to run and nowhere to hide. No surprise to her as she gave her 'statement' not necessarily the one he wanted to hear that Garrus kept up. He was one of the best soldiers she ever knew so something a simple a task as this would be nothing to him.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Seeing him glance up at her every now and again a couple of times their eyes met which caused Shepard to feel flustered, she removed her hat once more knowing deep down he knew who she was and it was very uncomfortable to wear. She ran her fingers through her hair and looked up at the Turian with her bright green eyes. She shuffled a little in her seat as he finished up the final necessary procedures.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Then all of a sudden came the million dollar question, Shepard couldn't help but smile a little, this is definitely something Garrus would do but she decided to play along with it never the less, the same story she had told everyone on Neria she would tell Garrus, she tucked her hair behind her ear and began to spoke in her 'Claire Williams' voice]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Actually I don't have much history, I suffer with Amnesia and have done for some years now, the doctors back on Neria said if it doesn't come back within the next 2 years it most likely will never return. That was 5 years ago... I've been on Neria for around 10 years now and I do minor things like farming and occasional repairs on machinery, oh of course piloting is one of them as well."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard knew all these 'harmless, innocent' questions were all apart of Garrus' plan for him to catch her out, but just as he knew her better than anyone, she knew him equally the same, all his little tricks she prepared for in case she ever ran into him again.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Accidentally letting her guard down in front of Garrus her true personality came out as she made a jokey comment,]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "As much as I'm having fun sitting here reminiscing with you about my lack of memory on my past, I do really need to get back to my colleague. I told you everything that happened and I believe everything was cleared on the ship so if you'll excuse me."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard stood up from her seat and turned around to walk to the door, glancing back once at the Turian she loved so much, feeling the pain in her chest once more brought back the memories of the day she left him and the last thing she said to him. Looking down she smiled swallowing so she wouldn't burst into tears.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Goodbye Garrus..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard took a deep breath quickly putting her hat back on tucking her hair away as she opened the door. This would be the final time she would see him again and somehow she found it more painful than the first time. Maybe it would have been better if she didn't survive the crash. The great Commander Shepard, wishing she didn't survive the Reapers, oh the irony...]]
His thin, scaly fingers hovered over the holo-keyboard, beady eyes focused on the screen. Eyes glanced upwards at the sound of footsteps, Williams/Shepard walking and sitting down in front with a [+red “Yes of course”]. He thought her eyes seemed sparking like, but whether the cause came from lighting or tears was unknown. Garrus’ eyes noticed the calmness as well, but for him it felt forced and not natural.
At the sound of coughing his fingers tensed, raising by a few degrees in preparation for depression into the nonexistent keyboard.
The fingers silently tapped against the solid top of the desk, the typing speed keeping up with the speed of the voice. Garrus felt frustrated, not at her but at himself for allowing such a small defeat. Williams/Shepard answered the question alright, either not understanding or completely ignoring, the latter being more likely, his implied question.
Then silence filled the room. Garrus’ eyes scanned the holoscreen, looking for mistakes in his typing while occasionally glancing at Williams/Shepard. He found himself quietly humming a tune which he’d usually hum while calibrating the Normandy’s guns, his thoughts switching from the document to a dynamic.
Leaning back in the chair Garrus brought his hands down, resting them against his lower chest. Without a doubt he knew the person across from was Jane Shepard, the person who ‘died’ twice and romantic friend through many years of perilous adventures. But Garrus suspected that Shepard knew about his suspicions about her, wanting in keeping the cover of Ms.Williams of Neria. Maybe even Shepard knew that he’d find out eventually, but she didn’t want it out easy like.
Garrus would take up this challenge, making Shepard expose herself and her story.
He straightened back out, hands once again hovering over the keyboard. Swinging his beady eyes and locking them with William’s/Shepard’s eyes, [+blue “What is your history? Time spent on Neria, what you do there, how you got there”], Garrus’ voice staying relaxed and friendly.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" To Shepard's surprise Garrus showed no emotion when Daniel hugged her, but it may have been for the best it would have caused too much suspicion, however her forced laugh made no difference in his emotions which made Shepard smile a little. She thought the only person he wasn't 100% serious with was Shepard and that had done a total 180 now, if anything he would be infuriated with her if you could even describe it. But she would deal with the consequences if there was to be any. Maybe he wouldn't mention anything and this could go on as if nothing had happened.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard turned her attention to Daniel giving him somewhat of an assuring nod, she had no idea how this would go with Garrus and Daniel had no idea that she knew him, hell he didn't even know who she was and he'd known her for the best part of 10 years. Turning away from Daniel she looked to the floor frowning.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" That was another thing if the truth had come out, how would Daniel react to it and the rest of the colony? Would they alert the Citadel, surely she would be arrested for faking her own death? Shepard shook the thoughts out of her head. That worry would have to come later. At the moment the only thing she had to worry about was the Turian in front of her. And in all honesty it was the only thing she cared about.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Quietly following behind him, she could feel the nerves building, the longer she was left alone with him the more her walls would begin to lower. The only person she ever truly trusted and loved was standing in front of her, it would be hard to keep her emotions at bay. But she had to she needed to keep up this front for just a little longer.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Closing the door behind her she turned around to see Garrus keep distance between them behind a desk. She could feel her nerves building, not decided on whether she should sit down or not Shepard decided to stand, it would only make her feel more nervous. Deep down Shepard knew that Garrus knew, he was extremely sharp and smart, as soon as he saw her face he would have known straight away and that's why she bolted. But she didn't want to admit it to him, she was scared as to how he would react or even if he would report her as 'revenge' perhaps? But that didn't seem like Garrus.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Walking around the room Shepard stopped at a leaflet on the wall, explaining the rules and regulations on the Citadel, to no surprise there were a lot more now than there was the last time Shepard was on the Citadel and even then she thought the list was huge.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Soon though her thoughts were stopped dead in their tracks at the sound of Garrus' voice. Shepards eyes widened and she could feel her heart racing. She turned to Garrus as he made eye contact with her, tears forming in her eyes but she swallowed and moved over to where he was sitting. Slowly she sat down and looked at him trying to remain as calm as possible.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Yes of course..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard cleared her throat in fear of her voice cracking in front of him then continued.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Our business on the Citadel was for trading purposes only, which you saw as you inspected the ship. As I was waiting near customs with the officer, I was lost in my own thoughts and the person who travelled with me, Daniel had been calling me which I hadn't noticed, so when he tapped me on the shoulder it caught me by surprise, wrongfully grabbing him, he called out in pain. Then with all the attention of everyone including yourself, made me extremely uneasy which caused me to flee back to the ship. And well... You know the rest from there..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard knew this would probably only make him even more angrier but she needed to keep this Claire Williams identity if he saw through it maybe he would pretend as though nothing had happened, but who was she kidding there was no way Garrus would ignore this, he was always so stubborn and he loved a challenge, he had told her this many times before. Shepard took a deep breath, well he wanted excitement looks like he got it. She had to stop herself from smiling as she awaited his response to her statement.]]
A pause ensued, no doubt thinking on the next course of action. For Ms.Williams/Commander Shepard the choice rest between Garrus' order phrased as a question or disobeying it. As for Garrus, he found himself forcing his hand away from tearing up the cap. Even in high tensioned situations his hands remained calm, an important aspect when sniping targets and the most minute twitch of the hand would send a shot somewhere else.
But the nerves was something else entirely, and Garrus slowly was losing his nerve. It would've been one thing if this Ms.Williams was indeed who she claimed to be, but that jolt of seeing Shepard's face threw everything out the ship.
Even though all this felt unnerving Garrus had to keep his professional side on. Not only could he risk his own reputation, absolulely under no circumstance would he expose Ms.Williams as Commander Shepard to everyone. She'd ran away from everything and everyone close to her, which meant she had some god damn good, justifiable reason for it. And only when he found out why would he make the decision whether to keep it secret or spread it.
For now, he'd deal with this debacle.
Williams/Shepard stood back up, squirming out and away from the boxes. Garrus appreciated the eye contact when speaking, even though the smile was merely for show. He closed his eyes, letting out a sigh as the brows furrowed and then unfurrowed, a brief pause to compose himself before continuing.
The walk back was filled with silence, minus the workers continuing in the background, Garrus only a foot or two behind Williams/Shepard. Most likely she wouldn't try running, but on the off chance she did then Garrus would put a stop without a thought.
A slight pause occured, Williams/Shepard asking for the cap back. At this point he didn't give a damn, she could have it back and cover her bright red hair under its dark depths.
Entering the customs office Daniel ran out and hugged Williams/Shepard. Daniel had no clue who Ms.Williams truly was, Garrus wouldn't have been surprised if Daniels tried dating, and the truth would most definitely shock him to the soul.
[+blue [b "Aye, some paperwork needs to be signed. Daniels and Polawski will sign the shipping papers, and you and me will sign the incidence papers. Now follow me Ms.Williams."]] The last sentence was uttered in a tone which brooked no argument.
Garrus walked off to one of the empty offices, keeping the door open as he made his way further inside and sitting down behind the table. Powering up the computer, the blue holoscreen popping up, he pulled out an incident form. Hearing footsteps and a door closing shortly after, a quick glance revealed that Williams/Shepard had actually followed. Keeping his eyes on the screen, [+blue [b "Mind explaining what happened?"]]. He'd give her one chance to explain herself before pulling out the bad cop style on her.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard ran as fast as her legs could carry her, it had been years since she needed to sprint like this and she was a little slower than she was used to. Looking behind her Garrus being the soldier he was, was much quicker than her, just by walking alone and was almost close to catching her.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Looking at the docking area she noticed some large boxes,]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text"that's where i'll lose him!]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" With what little stamina she had left she ran towards them her pulse racing. She was in the clear, she would just hide until Garrus gave up and went back to where the audience had now gathered at the word of a girl looking like Shepard fleeing from Vakarian. Amongst other things...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But it was no good... Garrus was too good a soldier to give up...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Finally reaching the boxes she ran towards them and crouched down. The great commander Shepard who had fought off the Batarians of Elysium, then the Geth, Ceberus and finally the Reapers, was now crouching down on the floor trying to catch her breath, her heart pounding at the sight of Garrus finding her. Shepard was at a loss in what to do. And then she heard him speak... Her little hiding place had been found, but it was no surprise coming from him, he never did give up easily.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" There was no training in the world that could have prepared her for something like this. There was no words...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard needed to think up and excuse and fast. The suspicions would be enormous by now with Garrus and god knows what people thought at the commotion of her running off. Taking slow deep breaths Shepard composed herself and stood up with a cold look on her face, the less emotions shown the better. Garrus was always good at reading her.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Stepping out from the boxes she looked at Garrus directly in the eyes and smiled]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "yes... Sir, I'm sorry, I've just never been around these many people and the pressure of security got a little too much for me, so excuse me for causing such a problem".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" It felt like acid coming out of Shepard's mouth, she didn't even speak like this in front of the people who saved her on Neria and it being Garrus made it so much worse. Why couldn't he have sent the rude human? Shepard moved her hair a little really wishing now she had dyed her hair because this colour wasn't something everyone had.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" At this point Shepard felt like punching herself in the face for being so reckless, she could have done so much more to keep her identity a secret, but deep down she thought she would never have to come to a place like the Citadel and never dreamed Garrus would be back here. She thought he would have stayed on Palaven.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard dread to think what Garrus was thinking by now? Did he know she was Shepard? Of course he did... But why act like he didn't? For her protection maybe? Shepard shook her head smiling, no way Garrus loved being the element of surprise so he most likely had something planned. Shepard just needed to be one step ahead of him and being a couple at one point was a huge bonus.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The slow walk back to customs felt like an eternity, at this point she didn't know what was going to happen, but at a time like this seeing Daniel a familiar face would be a blessing. Obviously being made to walk in front in case she pulled anymore vanishing acts Garrus walked closely behind her. So close in fact she could almost feel him on her back.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This made Shepard feel even more nervous, but not in that kind of way. It had been so long since she had even spoken or been touched by Garrus she was sure if he did touch her it would be like a shock of electricity running through her body, but as it was Garrus she would have gone to hell and back for him... She still would.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Glancing back she forgotten about the hat she had dropped which was now in Garrus' hand, taking a deep breath Shepard stopped and turned to look at him, her heart pounding once more.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Could I have my hat back please?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard tried to remain as calm as possible without arousing suspicion as to why she wanted it back, so she could hide her face from everyone else, the scars were bad enough so the hair would have been the icing on the cake. Gently taking the hat from his hands, her fingers brushed his which made her jump a little but quickly turned around. Shepard gathered all her hair up once more and hid it under the hat. This made her relax a little more but it still didn't want to make her turn around to look at him. She lowered her head and smiled a little.]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "Thank you.."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The walk finally came to an end as she could see the customs sign and Daniel, Shepard had never felt so relieved to see him, finally she felt like she could breathe again. Daniel ran over to her and what he did next will shock Shepard to the core. He quickly pulled her in for a hug.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Claire I was so worried about you! Are you okay?!"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard couldn't step back quick enough as she adjusted her hat once more. It wasn't necessarily the hug that made her uncomfortable because she knew nothing was going on and Daniel was just a very good friend, it was Garrus. She of all people didn't want him to think anything but the truth. But what did it matter, there was no way Garrus would still feel the same about her now. It had been far too long...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Taking one last deep breathe she turned to look at Garrus and smiled once more.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "You said there was some paperwork that needed signing? I'll be out of your way soon before I cause anymore trouble".]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard let out a slight laugh hoping Garrus would buy it. And they could both go on with their lives.]]
Garrus had a bored, borderline indifferent stare as Daniel closed the containers shut. Ever since the victorious end of the Reaper War all the challenges seemed to disappear along with the Reapers' existence. All his life he'd pursued after challenges, the very things which spiced up life. Ever since his initial investigation into Saren Garrus dealt with one challenge after another, slowly accustoming himself that there'd be a challenge around each corner. Whether or not said challenge would've been successfully conquered, which they'd been, was entirely a different question.
But for now he'd deal with this unchallenging situations the same way he'd dealt with challenging ones, high attentiveness with a calm attitude.
As the two walked out Garrus kept quiet while scanning the ship one last time, hoping to catch any minute detail he'd missed on the way in. Sadly nothing popped out, the ship looked identical on the way out as it had on the way in.
His mind then switched to Daniel's earlier words about Claire. [+blue [i 'You'll have to excuse my pilot for being so quiet, she's not used to this many people and it's making her a little nervous. She avoids the Citadel at all costs, so it's a big deal for her to be here, right Claire?']], remembering word for word. The first sentence revealed nothing unique for almost all newcomers became bewildered when introduced to such a numerous and diverse place on what was basically a ginormous space station, Garrus knew that feeling for he himself had experienced with his 'baby steps' upon the Citadel. It was the other two sentences that bothered him. Whether avoiding some crime committed on the Citadel, a nasty run-in with someone or group, or pure bad luck, a reason existed. If Daniel had mentioned that Claire never expressed interest instead of avoiding then that would've sounded much less suspicious. But the third sentence was the most suspicious out of the three. It gave the 'covering for you' vibe, as if Daniel wanted to hide something about Claire or he actually didn't know Claire. To be fair, with Claire being a first timer to the Citadel and Daniel being here many a time there was the possibility that he'd only met her today. But then that went circular, coming around to the unanswerable question as to why Claire avoided the Citadel at all costs.
A quick glance upwards revealed being close in proximity to the door leading to the many offices that were apart of customs. Even though Daniel already knew the procedure, just for the sakes of following said procedure. The schpeel wasn't too long but long enough for the two of them to go through the doors and even walk in.
Garrus noted Polawksi's annoyed look, a conversation for later, meaning Claire had to have somehow disobeyed his orders. Probing the room unveiled Claire standing near one of the few bulletin boards and reading it. Most likely Polawski had wanted Claire to remain in one spot and Claire had moved to the bulletin board.
Daniel began calling Claire's name, Garrus stopped and patiently waited. But Claire responded not, as if deep in thought. Daniel called her name a few more times before getting sick of it and walking towards her.
What happened next even Garrus didn't expect it.
He saw how Daniel's arm grabbed Claire's arm, a soft grip. Not even a second later Claire, a cascade of bright red hair as her cap fell off, turning around and grabbing Daniel by his wrist in a painful manner. Daniel's strained and pained voice voiced surprise, Garrus' eyes and eyebrows showing surprise and locking with Claire's sharp green eyes.
At that moment Garrus felt his stomach dropped, he couldn't believe himself. Was that recognition he saw beyond all that fear in worry in her eyes, could it be that this Claire Williams was actually Jane Shepard? Garrus automatically began moving towards Claire, the distance between the two slowly decreasing.
And then Claire bolted. Garrus instinctively stepped aside letting her bolt pass him and through the doors. Unwise it was to be in the center of a path of a bolting creature, even when the bolting creature be an unarmored human and the creature in its path an armored Turian. And with this unarmored human being unarmed as well, she couldn't harm anyone no run very far. And from Daniel's insights Claire wouldn't have run far, most likely bolted back to the ship.
Garrus could feel the tension within the room, everyone dumbfounded as to what happened. After taking a deep breath, [b [+blue "Polawski, have Daniel's wrist looked at and make sure it's good. After that prepare the paperwork and have it ready for when I'm done. I'm going after Ms.Williams"]]. Picking up the cap he examined it, the semi-rough fabric brushing on his cold Turian skin.
Walking out the doors back to the ship Garrus noticed the unloading of the containers had stopped, the workers standing unsure around the already unloaded containers. To there Garrus directed his steps, walking slowly to extend thinking time.
Garrus had two options, call out Claire as Jane right here and then or have a more tête-à-tête with her and let her reveal herself. If Claire indeed was Jane Shepard, then she had some important reason as to play dead to the entire galaxy. Garrus didn't think Jane's action, if this Claire was indeed Jane, were fair, she'd already died once and the SR-1 Normandy crew had an emotional twist, but a second time? And because of the first time some of the Normandy's crew had even hoped for Shepard's return! Only a few later did everyone give up on the hope, and now it started to turn out she wasn't dead.
Despite his slow walking he'd already arrived near the unloaded containers. Maintaining a voice absent from emotion, even though a slow buildup had begun inside, [b [+blue "Ms.Williams, you forgot something. We're also going to need to file a report of what happened so I would appreciate it greatly if you'd come out with me and walk with me to the offices."]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel tapped her on the shoulder snapping Shepard out of her thoughts]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "you'll be fine Claire, just follow me, sign the docs and you can wait for me back on the ship. I have a few things to buy and deals to take care of, I shouldn't be too long but I'll radio you on the comms if I need you and vice versa".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard frowned feeling a little uneasy but trusted Daniel so she smiled]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "sure Daniel, let's get this over with, the sooner we get this done the better I'll feel about it. Take your time on the Citadel, I can occupy myself on the ship whilst I wait for you".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard pulled down on her cap hiding her face, she would wear a helmet if she could but she didn't want to draw any attention to herself and wearing a helmet would cause suspicion.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel smiled and began to lead the way. Jane already knew where customs were, but she started walking over there Daniel would want to know how she knew where certain locations were. Luckily she didn't know anyone from customs, so no one would be able to recognise her acquaintance wise. Although it would surprise her if it would be the same people still working there that had spoken to her before... Customs were destroyed by the Reapers...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" As they both left the ship there were two people waiting for them at the entrance to the citadel. Not paying much attention Shepard glanced up, her eyes widening in horror, she couldn't believe who she was seeing]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Garrus Vakarian...]]
[size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "There's no way..."]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard said quietly to herself, so not even Daniel could hear her and he was a few yards in front of her. Shepard was never an emotional person but she could feel herself tearing up at the sight of him. However she couldn't help but smile a little, he looked no different and still had his scars, which Shepard found a little strange as the Citadel would have had the technology to remove them.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Her thoughts were confirmed as the Turian introduced himself, again this caused Shepard to smirk a little]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text" 'he's definitely not changed..']]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Her heart was aching but if she could just get through his little section then she could be back on board the ship and wait for Daniel to finish his business and they could be back on Neria.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" She could tell Garrus was becoming suspicious of her, not being able to see someone's face and remaining silent would obviously cause suspicion, just as she opened her mouth to say something Daniel came to her rescue.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" You'll have to excuse my pilot for being so quiet, she's not used to this many people and it's making her a little nervous. She avoids the Citadel at all costs, so it's a big deal for her to be here, right Claire?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard just gave a slight nod and looked to the side, Daniel then turned his attention to Garrus and the one called Polawski and gave his usual charming smile. Once everything seemed to have gone to plan and Garrus gave the all clear, Shepard panicked once more, she was being lead away from Daniel and more importantly the ship. This officer Polawski was leading her to a woman at a front desk and then directing her into a room which was more like a hallway.]]
[size13[+Orange[font "Sitka Text" "Sit over there".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Doing as she was told Shepard parked her ass on a seat the officer pointed to. It wasn't really a room, it was more like a wide corridor with a few seats placed at the side. Plain white walls with advertisements moving around them and a few plants placed around to give it more 'warmth'. There were multiple people passing through, more than what she was expecting, more then enough for only one person to notice who she was. Volus, Salarian, Asari and Krogan. There was more than Shepard was used to seeing but it also didn't surprise her since the Genophage had been cured. They would no longer need to worry about the death or their children or their race becoming extinct.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The thought made her think of Grunt and Wrex, both natural born fighters, short tempers and open minded. But they both had one hell of a sense of humour.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" A few Quarians also passed through and of course Turian. This was to be expected as the C-Sec headquarters wasn't too far from here. Shepard shuffled a little in her seat feeling a little nervous and uncomfortable and it was getting worse by the minute. She could just see it now Garrus walking over to her and Shepard not being able to take her eyes off of him. Everything she worked so hard for to make sure Shepard remained dead will have been in vain.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard stook up in frustration and causing Polawski to give her a dirty look as she disobeyed his orders. However if she let her thoughts run away with her any longer she would drive herself insane. So to clear her head, the best thing to do would be to move about. Walking around the waiting area as best as she could without bumping into someone passing through, she came across a bulletin board full of advertisements. Some were news articles and others were plain old junk.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" That's where Shepard saw it... The anniversary or her death, to her shock she noticed a plaque near the embassies with her name on it and a small inscription.]]
[size13[i[b[font "Sitka Text" Commander Jane Shepard fought bravely against the Reapers, even sacrificing herself so that we could continue living. She will always be a hero amongst men and will never be forgotten.]]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard couldn't help herself as a smile formed on her lips. She felt a sense on honour to have something to meaningful to her displayed for everyone to see. It wasn't done for the credit and acknowledgement though, it was done so that everyone could be safe and live their lives without being in fear of the Reapers waiting to wipe every living thing from the galaxy.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Followed shortly after was a news article being reported by someone called Yessenia Arkwright, she had the stereotypical journalist voice.]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" "Today marks the 10 year anniversary since the attack of the Reapers on the Citadel and Commander Shepard bravely giving away her life for the sake of the galaxy. Her heroic actions have enabled us to keep on living in peace. We have attempted to contact her crew from the Normandy but their only responses was she will never be forgotten. This is Yessenia Arkwright signing out".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard looked down a painful expression on her face. It wasn't a surprise the crew from the Normandy didn't want to talk about her, it had been 10 years. The journalist most likely attempted to contact them for a statement and they probably got tired of saying the same thing on the anniversary of her death every single year. It was probably too painful...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The person that upset her the most was there was no sign of Garrus, he wasn't even mentioned, but perhaps it was for the best, like Shepard had hoped, maybe he had moved on and settled down with someone else. After a few more advertisements of new restaurants and shops opening in the area and the newly revamped Purgatory bar. The bulletin repeated itself. Shepard had seen enough there was nothing else for her to look at so the only thing for her to do would be to return to her seat and wait for the all clear for her to return to the ship.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But before this plan could take place something stopped her, rather someone stopped her. A familiar voice... A voice she knew all to well, a voice that she could never forget...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Garrus Vakarian...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard quickly turned back facing the bulletin board, desperate for him to pass through and Shepard to go unnoticed. Her heart was pounding so hard, any louder and she expected it to burst through her chest.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" He was talking over details with Daniel, from what Shepard was guessing was that he was giving Daniel the all clear and he could enter on the Citadel without any problems, she hoped...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" All Shepard needed him to do was to move on through those doors and then she would be in the all clear. It was best for her to wait near the ship regardless of what the officer 'Polawski' told her to do. She wouldn't move from the ship until she was given the OK to board it.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But in a split second, all of that changed...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Losing herself in her own stupid thoughts, she didn't notice Daniel in the distance calling her name. So obviously he made his way over to her and gently grabbed her arm to bring her attention back. But it caught her by surprise and she grabbed his wrist, also knocking her cap off in the process as her long red hair now fell around her shoulders and her face was exposed... Daniel pulled a painful expression [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Jesus Claire! Who knew you had a grip like that!"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This however caught the attention of many people including Garrus... Everything she had worked so hard for...]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" It was unavoidable, the two of them locked eyes, there was nothing Shepard could do about it. Garrus as quickly as he turned to look at her was walking towards her. Shepard quickly let go of Daniels wrist and slowly began backing away, she turned her head and noticed the exit was close and made a break for it.]]
The moment he walked in it was if an electrical field had occured. Every single C-Sec officer stiffened to acknowledge the entrance. Garrus kept the displeasure inside while keeping a polite smile on his scarry face. Yes they proved victorious in the galaxy uniting Reaper War, but the price couldn't be simply vanished. Countless dead, displaced folk, children who'd never see their parents, several bloody messes combining into one big bloody ocean.
Gazing at the docking bays, Garrus' eyes furrowed. A single Turian eyebrow slowly raised before quickly dipping down. For every ship docked multitudes of empty ones came craving a ship to hold. This being day one of a galaxy wide party, no ships would be moving. Most traffic would be coming in-and-out before or after, especially the day before the first one. Even though Garrus didn't pay attention, even for his inattentiveness towards ship tracking even Garrus noticed a sudden influx of aliens on board the station.
Another ship floated into view. Had it been looking more or less like a space travelling craft, but this one wasn't. Garrus had his experience with junk crafts, usually for travelling under the radar, but the craft in his eyes made the craft he'd travelled on look like cheap pleasure rides. At least the junk craft he'd travelled on appeared uniform on the outside, this junk craft made no attempt to disguise its irregularities.
Turning to one of the C-Sec officers while pointing at the docking, floating heap of junk, [b [+blue "Can someone explain to me what that is?"]]. His voice demanding an answer and allowing no arguments, perhaps too harsh but business was business. A few seconds passed before a masculine male voice answered, [b [+orange "Trading ship inbound from the planet Neria."]] Neria? He'd never heard of such a planet, [b [+blue "Neria? Never heard of such a planet"]]. [b [+orange "It's an extremely small, about 100 human only colony dealing with farming and mining. They don't bother anyone and for that reason no one really cares about it. They do trade, and that happens to be their only ship"]]. Garrus nodded his head, looking at the human C-Sec officer who'd answered his question while dropping his arm back down to his side. [b [+blue "I'll take lead, you,"]], pausing to get the human's name, [b [+orange "Polawski"]], [b [+blue "Polawski you watch my back"]].
The two of them approached the docked rust bucket, two humans exiting it. A male with green eyes, blond hair with dark complexion, and a well built body with a stance projecting relaxed confidence. The other human was a female one with that distinct long hair infused with a violently blood red color, also with green eyes but a stance that showed less confidence and more nervousness and wonderment. Garrus knew that the Citadel only by itself could impart that feeling of wonderment, the addition of various people and activities further increased that feeling as well as one making seem more insignificant.
Garrus walked with his customary military gait, one of his permanent habits he never bothered to get rid off along with others, also stopping with military precision a few feet in front of the two humans while sliding his feet shoulder length apart and arms behind his back. [b [+blue Greetings and welcome to the Citadel. I am Garrus Vakarian and my partner is Officer Polawski, we'll be conducting your inspection today"]].
A quiet few seconds delay occurred, the human male reaching and pulling out a datapad while extending the hand holding it. Garrus noted the practiced with ease motion as he extended his own hand to take the datapad, this human knew the way around the Citadel.
Bringing the datapad up to his chest Garrus leaned his head downwards and a bit in to read. The still intact mandibles slightly moved side-to-side while taking in the data on the holographic screen, unconsiously bringing up a hand to scratch the still heavily scarred cheek before dropping the hand down.
Daniel and Claire, the two humans brave, or crazy or both, enough to pilot a rustbucket from a small planet to here with some ores, farming and mining equipment, and a few other small in-bulk things. How this ship never once been pulled aside by pirates or mercenary group and plundered was curious, a ship with no defenses were extremely popular targets for such groups.
Without moving his head Garrus' cloudy green/grey eyes swiveled up, black beads looking over the two humans while occasionally taking a glance back at the datapad. The descriptions for both Claire and Daniel perfectly matched. Garrus slightly shifted his stance, the feet settling into a wider position, while his mandibles audibly clicked, something bothering him about Claire. Something kept telling him he'd run into her somewhere in the past. But how could he have run into her without noticing a female with such beautiful red hair? It couldn't be, for Claire came from a planet which he'd never heard of until today and probably had never even went off-planet.
Garrus shook his head, lifting back up and extending the datapad back to Daniel. Slightly turning his head towards Polawski, [b [+blue "Polawski, keep an eye out on Ms.Williams. Something happens, tell me right away"]]. Less than a second passed and already looking at Daniel, [b [+blue "I want to conduct a physical inspection of the goods you are transporting"]], Garrus' voice stern but not harsh. He didn't really care what Daniel thought, this sort of job needed to be done right and searches fell under it.
Allowing Daniel to turn around Garrus followed shortly followed. One item that never left his back, except for a few occasions, was his M-92 Mantis sniper rifle, countless lives claimed throughout the many years he'd owned it. Being on his back it only showed as a black and white rectangular prism, a similarly shaped glossed grey item being the M-15 Vindicator assault rifle, and an M-6 Carnifex pistol holstered.
The inside appeared more smooth than the outside, but it still had that cobbled together feeling to it. Garrus kept his mouth shut as pilots never appreciated having their ship being criticized by anyone, even members of the ship; Joker being one such pilot, but he definitely was one of the best pilots.
After being led to the cargo bay Garrus asked Daniel to open the containers while standing off to the side with crossed arms to watch for any suspicious behavior. With the containers being opened Garrus walked up and checked each and everyone; everything on the list was there and nothing appeared that wasn't on the list. With one last glance to satisfy his curiosity, Garrus stood back up and turned to face Daniel. [b [+blue "Everything is in order. You can close the containers and we'll go sign the papers"]].
Secretly Garrus had hoped for a challenge, something to relieve the dull monotony. And then another thought popped into his head, Polawski hadn't reported anything in. Most likely nothing had happened, but there was always that chance of something weird happening.
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The regular morning meeting was always the same. For everyone to do a good job and have some fun here and there, and the most important rule. Do not stray to far from the colony without making someone aware of your absence. Shepard's job for the day would be to load supplies onto the ship ready for it to be taken to the Citadel. The closest thing Shepard would be to it.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard began walking over to the warehouse, the person in charge of running things there was a woman named Samantha. She was tall, petite with blonde hair in a neat ponytail. [size13[#DAA520[font "Sitka Text" "Shepard just the girl I needed! I know you hate going to the Citadel but we really need you to pilot the ship. Jake is on leave and Gina got herself a pretty bad injury this morning, there's no way she's fit to pilot in her condition".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard looked at her with a smile [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "you're yanking me right? Samantha you know how I feel about going to the Citadel, I haven't been there since I landed on Neria".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Samantha sighed and nodded]] [size13[#DAA520[font "Sitka Text" "I know Jane, I wouldn't ask you if there was someone else. You only have to go as far as customs I promise. I already made the calls, you don't need to do anything more, they have people over there that will take over things and do the unloading for you. It will be a quick in and out I promise, please help a girl out here? I don't want Joe busting my ass for it later".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This was definitely not the day Shepard wanted but she felt an obligation to help them. The people of this planet helped her when she needed them... And now they needed her. With a deep sigh she agreed to help Samantha]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "fine... I'll do it... But you owe me big for this".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Samantha practically jumped on her]] [size13[#DAA520[font "Sitka Text" "you're a life saver! I promise I'll make it up to you when you get back, whatever you want, my treat. I'll begin preparing things for the journey for you".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Letting out another sigh Jane began to board the ship. Walking up the ramp she pulled a cap out of her bag tucking her hair way and pulling it down low enough to hide her face. She turned around looking up to the sun]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "I have a bad feeling about this..."]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Stepping back onto the ship brought back so many memories. Good and bad. So much had happened Ashley, Saren, The Geth, The Reapers, Collectors, Ceberus, Anderson, Udine, Mordin, Thane and Legion... Out of all of those only the Geth managed to pull something good out of this. Everyone else was gone, only a distant memory remained of them now. The good times are what got her through this, that and knowing her crew survived was her biggest achievement. Even til this day she wonders what they're doing with their lives now. And then Garrus flashed through her head, for the second time today and that was enough reminiscing for now.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Practically dragging her feet to the pilots seat she sat down, there would only be one other person accompanying her. Daniel, he was a lot younger than Jane, 25-26? But he certainly knew what he was doing. Somehow he reminded her of Joker which bought a smile to her face. Daniel was also an expert at getting a good bargain. He was always at the Citadel to see what deals he could pull off and most of the time? He got what he wanted.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" He was a tall man with althletic build, dusty blonde hair and green eyes. Shepard thought about it one drunken night but thankfully they just passed out.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Seeing as there would be no co-pilot Daniel sat next to her, Shepard always liked Daniel because he got straight to the point, a rarity these days.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "So Claire what did Samantha do to get you on this ship?"]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Jane smiled and shook her head a little]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "I have no idea, call it an obligatory favour".]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel smirked strapping himself in as Jane gently caressed the controls with the tips of her fingers.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "It's been a while. Let's hope I can still remember".]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Before Daniel could say anything the ship slowly lifted off the ground and within a few seconds they were both away.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Seeing and being in space again felt good, she missed it... More than anything. The freedom of going where you wanted. Being a spectre too gave her more room without having to explain herself to anyone. All the people you could meet, the different cultures, religions. It was a feeling you couldn't even describe. Daniel noticed how happy she looked and which made him smile.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "This is the happiest I've seen you in years Claire, did you spend a lot of time in space?"]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard forgot herself and returned to her usual look, concentrating on the flying, she then glanced at Daniel and gave the faintest smile.]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "I'm not sure... But being back here for some reason made me happy. So maybe I did at one point, who knows.".]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel decided to drop the subject as Shepard breathed out a little feeling relieved. All this 'amnesia' was hard work, but it was something that had to be done, there was no way she could return to her old life.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Clearing her head of her overbearing thoughts she saw the mass relay in the distance. She knew as soon as they went through that it wouldn't be too long before they were outside the Citadel. Shepard's stomach turned and she felt a slight panic forming. But never the less it had to be done, she'd faced worse things in her life and it was just like Samantha said, in and out. No one will notice.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Going through the mass relay after all these years made her feel a little sick. It had been so long she had forgotten what it felt like, it was like her first trip all over again. In the past when she was with the Normandy she had been through it so many times, there was no thinking twice about it, now she was trying her hardest to not throw up on Daniel.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The nauseous feeling quickly passed as she could now see the Citadel. Nausea now turned into panic, she amount of times she thought over and over in her head quick in and out, She was even starting to get annoyed with herself. Daniel noticed how nervous she was and he gently placed his hand on her shoulder reassuring her.]] [size13[#008000[font "Sitka Text" "Don't worry Jane everything will be fine, let me do the talking, all you need to do is show your ID and sign the paperwork, then you can wait back on the ship".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard didn't respond but she nodded with a smile.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard found it amazing how they quickly they managed to repair the Citadel and get things back to normal. It nearly plummeted into the earth wiping it out, but 10 years is a long time and with the advanced technology they have it didn't take long. But still it took 8 years for things to be fully operational again for for trading to resume. It was on a strict lock down for a while and strangers weren't welcome. Neria being one of them, but over the years they realised they needed up for supplies and allowed us to business. The only thing that couldn't be replaced was the millions of lives that were lost.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The familiar feeling came back, the Normandy loading onto the docking bay, but it wasn't the Normandy now, it was another ship. Neria's ship was so basic the people there didn't even bother to give her a name. She was basically a rusty old cargo ship that had been fitted with scrap parts from other ships. The one she crashed on the planet was a huge help as well.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Daniel spent a lot of his time on here though and decided to give her the little nickname of Genevieve and well it kind of stuck. But official name? There wasn't one.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" This was the moment she had been dreading since she stepped foot onto the ship. To Shepard's surprise though it didn't look much different to the Citadel she knew, except for the technology being a little more advanced and maybe a redecoration here and there, but looking past the aesthetics it was still the same Citadel she remembered.]]
[center [+blue The Past]]
Time, a never-ending thing. As time continued to pass, whether through the tick-tock of analog clocks or the silent flickers of a digital clock, it cared naught for the effects it had on creatures. As to opposite, creatures who kept track of time did care about the passage of time.
Out of the many creatures in the galaxy who cared for the passage of time, one of them was a Turian. Now one of the first things that separated this Turian from others was the name: Garrus Vakarian. Basically all Turians and many others knew of him, quite impossible to not be known while serving alongside such a decorated warrior as Commander Shepard. Personally for Garrus, one of the topic he enjoyed musing concerned his first run-in with Shepard; If not for that run-in then he would never had had all those crazy adventures after. Being overheard talking about Saren's investigation with Executor Palen, a mere chance, ended up with him serving on the Normandy with one of the best crews ever.
But the hellish adventure, no use in denying the thrill of it, wasn't the sole reward for him. Ya he liked to talk but Garrus would have never thought he'd become much closer than battle baddies, he never would have believed the possibility of intimacy with Jane Shepard of the Alliance Navy.
After Saren's and Sovereign's bloody defeat at the Citadel, he and Shepard went off in separate ways. Shepard back to doing whatever the Alliance ordered, and Garrus reentered C-Sec. He still disliked all the bureaucratic red tape bullshit, a constant irksome reminder made worse by the Citadel attempting to make seem as if a Reaper hadn't shown up, but it did keep busy and payed. The final straw, Garrus lost whatever remaining trust he had in the Citadel politicians after learning of Shepard's death. Filled with disgust he quit C-Sec a second time and decided he'd do justice his own way. That led him partnering with Sidonis and 10 others and becoming a ginormous annoyance on Omega, before Sidonis decided to betray everyone and leave them for the dead. With one friend dead, another betraying their whole squad, and pure rage Garrus found himself cornered by the united mercenaries. No question about the eventuality of dying, no method existed for a continual siege style holdout while cornered like a rat - ammunition resupply, countering new openings, no reinforcement - with the only option of taking as many of those bastards out.
And that was the moment when a dead friend no longer dead showed up. Garrus at first couldn't quite believe in seeing and hearing Commander Shepard standing in front of him. They managed to get out of the trap, with a nice scar from a missile to the face as a decoration.
Learning of Shepard's mission didn't surprise Garrus. Did hunting down the Collectors sound completely suicidal? Yes. But so was going after Saren and bringing his scheming to an end. This mission was the one where Garrus found himself attracted to Shepard, and to him he seemed the opposite was true. In this wide and wild galaxy Garrus felt loneliness, except Shepard by herself filled that void inside him.
After the Collectors, the next big event to happen was the Reaper invasion. In a weird and funny way, the most dangerous time also managed to be the time where he got the closest to Shepard...
[center [+blue The Present]]
Garrus shook his head, stopping himself thinking those thoughts. The past forever was stuck in the past and nothing he did now would change it. Everyone else was in a festive mood while only he looked bummed out. All around humans, salarians, batarians, krogan, and all the other races prepared for the 10th anniversary of the Reaper defeat. He had come to the first two or three and then stopped due to the memories casting wounds upon him. Too many memories associated with Shepard, too many memories that couldn't be done again or possible new ones made.
Shepard's death had taken its toll on Garrus. Yes he found something to do, mainly teaching new Turian recruits as the Turian army had to be rebuilt from all the heavily sustained losses, while doing work similar to the Archangel gig he had run on Omega. But even those with whom he'd worked with on the Normandy noticed a change, Garrus did occasionally visit Wrex or Liara or one of the others, a more quiet and broody Turian instead of a joking, quipping, musing Turian. He even tried finding another relationship, but after three or four failed attempts Garrus stopped trying.
Shepard was a void that couldn't be filled by something else.
Garrus had decided to travel to the Citadel. Why even he couldn't answer, just like how he couldn't answer why he walked up to the C-Sec offices to Bailey and volunteered to help check ships unloading and loading cargo. Bailey agreed to this pleasant and helpful surprise.
Making no eye contact, the steady beat of his steps lost in the echoings of the pre-party celebrations. Garrus found it funny as to the larger number of illegal goods attempted to be smuggled increased during this anniversary party. Security tightened up during this time, not laxed. But there was always that possilibity of getting something past one of the C-Sec officers who just wanted to join the party instead of doing there duty.
A few minutes later Garrus was standing in customs, waiting for a ship to take an empty dock.
[+blue Concerning the future:] Somewhere deep in the Turian's mind still existed a small hope that Shepard wasn't dead but alive somewhere out there in the wide galaxy. What gave the Turian this hope was the fact that Shepard had survived death once.
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" Journal entry May 3rd 2196.]]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" Today marks the day of the 10th anniversary since the Reapers were destroyed. Also the death of Commander Shepard... Or so everyone thinks. When I survived the blast I decided to remain dead... A ghost. I changed my name, my appearance and my whole personality. It's actually surprising how difficult it is having to change your personality so no one will recognise you. Being the 'hero' that saved everyone from the Reapers your name is bound to go down in history. But I decided that life was now just a memory, something people would speak about in years to come, but for me that life was over. Now I live on a distant human planet called Neria. It is very much like earth but not noted on the galaxy maps. The people that came to this planet found it by chance.]]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" It being a human planet as well the Alliance weren't too interested in making a huge fuss over it to keep it under the radar. Only 100 people live there including myself so everybody knows everybody. Our main jobs are farming and mining which is another the reason the Alliance do business with us. We keep to ourselves and they don't bother us. My main job is the farming part, I also repair things here and there from personal experience. It's been so long though since I've held a weapon I've almost forgotten what it feels like... But maybe that's for the best.]]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" Although my old life is behind me there is still that one person, well specifically Turian that I still think about. Garrus Vakarian... He was the best solider I ever knew... And loved... But that was so long ago I expect him to have moved on and started a family by now. He always did want kids of his own someday...]]]
[size13[b[font "Sitka Text" Claire Williams signing out...]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard closed her vid log and picked up her things. This was her life now she left The Alliance, Cerberus, The Normandy, everything behind. Sure she could have emerged a hero and been loved by everyone but she escaped death once, this time she would have the entire galaxy believe her to be dead. So, she grew her hair out, past her shoulders, the only thing she couldn't change was the colour, that was still a vibrant red. Her personality had to be changed, but the most difficult thing to hide was her scars.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Neria was a very basic planet so she didn't have the technology to fix them, it was something to remind her everyday what she had done. One deep scar through her eyebrow and another from her left cheek to her jawline. Hopefully though over time that one would fade. She told herself this 8 years ago.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard hadn't returned to the Citadel since the Reapers nearly destroyed it. When people on Neria asked her, Shepard had the perfect excuse, but she also had a feeling that excuse would soon run out. She just hoped the day would never come when she would have to return to the Citadel, the place she now feared.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" The living quarters she stayed in were nothing special, she lived a very basic quiet life, quiet.. Which is what was needed to keep herself off of the radar. As she made her way over to the crew facility she was greeted by one of her higher ups. He was a genuine man with black hair and brown eyes. He was in his early 50's and when he smiled you could see the corner of his mouth wrinkle, which always brought a smile to Shepard's face. But being genuine was a good trait. Another one of his traits was he was too good at being able to read people, even Shepard had a hard time trying to fool him. He always approached her every morning with a warm welcoming smile without fail.]]
[size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" "Ah Williams are we ready for another day of fixing, and harvesting?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard smiled and turned her head to look at him]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "you say this everyday Joe, don't you get tired of it?"]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" Joe just shook his head and gave a slight chuckle]] [size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" "and you say the same thing to me every day Williams, as long as you still laugh I'm doing my job right. You've come a long way since I first found you, you never did say where you came from or how you managed to crash a ship on our planet".]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard frowned a little]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text" yup he always saw right through everything.]]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "If I could remember Joe you would be the first person to know".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" They both let out an awkward forced laugh as they arrived at the facility.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Of course Shepard remembered what had happened, how could she forget? But could you imagine that as a conversation starter? She could just see it now. Joe and some others taking her to the medical bay, fixing her up and then dropping a bomb of]] [size13[i[font "Sitka Text" I'm Commander Shepard from The Normandy. I destroyed the Reapers and crashed a ship I found, on this planet to start a new life for myself. But don't tell anyone I survived. I want to remain dead for my own selfish reasons.]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" A smile formed on her lips at the thought of the look on their faces, as usual Joe noticed. Like he noticed everything on this planet.]] [size13[#8B4513[font "Sitka Text" "I don't see you smile like that very often, has someone occupied your thoughts? Maybe a new love interest?"]]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" Shepard almost choked at his comment]] [size13[#FF0000[font "Sitka "no it's nothing like that, just a memory that's all".]]] [size13[font "Sitka Text" In all honesty since Garrus she didn't want to love again... She was scared of feeling that way again around someone, she didn't want to feel that good feeling again. She didn't want to let herself be completely vulnerable around anyone. One heartbreak was enough for her, she didn't need anymore. Saving Garrus was her main wish, that and for him to meet someone that could make him happy, not someone who would drag him off to war given the opportunity, she wanted him to find peace... Shepard had been in the company of others over the years, but nothing worth mentioning. Most of them she learned to regret over time.]]
[size13[font "Sitka Text" But one thing she hadn't done was put herself in the company of another alien, let alone another Turian, it would bring back too many memories, something she didn't want to feel. That part of her heart would be locked away.]]
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