Another ME-related drabble in a first person POV of Shepard post-ME3… N is for news.
Okay, okay… that’s kind of a weak theme for this but I ended up writing it and then realizing the “N” theme hadn’t really developed. Oh well.
Shepard is recovering in Vancouver after the battle in London and the defeat of the Reapers. Part of her recovery is the assignment by her therapist to find a way to come to terms with everything that’s happened so she writes about it. Written as a first-person narrative.
The relays are open again.
Well, I should say the Sol Relay is open again. The fleets are returning to their home systems where they will continue to repair the others. There are celebrations; all the major news channels are covering it. People aren’t dancing in the streets, at least not here on Earth. I’m sure on other worlds they’re rejoicing to hear that their kin are coming home. Surely there they’re dancing and crying happy tears. I would be.
No. I am. I’m happy they’re able to go home now. Not because I want them gone—well not all of them—but because I want them to be able to see their home worlds again, to see their families again. We all fought this war; we all deserve to enjoy the peace we sacrificed and bled for.
It’s bittersweet watching the frigates and dreadnoughts disappear one by one on the live feed the Alliance News Network has running. There go the Turians and Garrus along with them. And there, the Quarians with their youngest Admiral at the helm. Wrex had been first in line with his Krogan fleet. They are no doubt eager to get back and jumpstart the Krogan race.
I shake my head and take a long pull of beer.
Everyone’s off doing something. Everyone but me.
I’m beginning to accept that. I’ve no one to command but myself now and with my wounds mostly healed it’s time I start finding something to do with all this free time I have. Sitting on the couch, drinking beer can’t become a daily habit…can’t continue to be a daily habit.
I may only be a marine on paper but I’m still a Spectre. With the relays open again there are possibilities to consider.
The Alliance had Kaidan out at the relay for the reopening. A lot of our friends are making the jump, either returning home or going to help repair the remaining relays. Even Chakwas is stationed off-world.
There’s a knock on the door and instead of getting up to get it I just yell for whoever it is to come in. Safe? No. Do I care at the moment? Double no. My prosthetic is off and I don’t want to hop over to the door when whoever it is can just let themselves in.
Jeff gives me crap as he opens the door, muttering something about failed assassination attempts and an utter lack of self-preservation. I hold up my pistol as I toss him a smile over my shoulder.
He doesn’t look surprised.
When Jeff first started coming over on a regular basis I thought maybe Kaidan had asked him to check up on me while he was off world. It wasn’t that Jeff and I weren’t close or that we hadn’t stayed in touch it was just that I figured he’d be best put to use in the cockpit of another Alliance ship while the Normandy was repaired and retrofitted.
He shrugs when I mention it as he puts the six-pack he brought in the fridge. He tells me he’d rather be here, close to the Normandy and EDI. He looks at me over the bar. “Plus, I’ve gotten used to being your pilot.”
I tell him he’s getting soft because it seems too pathetic to say I’ve gotten spoiled having him as my pilot. We both know I already take his friendship and his skills for granted. If I ever have command of a ship again it will be a big adjustment working with a different pilot. Jeff knows my habits and my command style as well as I do. Sometimes I think he knows them better than I do.
He offers me one of the bottles he’s holding and I smile as I realize it’s strawberry soda, not beer. The empty bottles haven’t been lost on him when he visits and in typical Joker fashion he knows just what to do. The soda brings me back to a time when I smuggled a six pack on board and we sat in the cockpit of the Normandy drinking and laughing while the rest of the crew was on shore leave.
From the look in his eye he is remembering that time too.
“I guess nothing really changes,” he says with a grin that’s almost a smirk.
We clink our bottles together even though we both know that’s not exactly true. Some things don’t change; we’ve been in the business long enough to know that.