They call her ruthless. Destructive. They deemed her
unstable, limitless, and cold. A renegade. They call her ‘get it done’. And oh
how did she get things done. But they never saw the grief of what she had to be, and how it made her feet drag. How soft the heart was underneath the armour. There
was so much more to Commander Shepard than the name; the legend. Behind the
stories, there was still the girl who’d been left cowering, alone, in the
streets. The girl who fought tooth and nail to deserve some humanity. The scars
on her face, from where death had nearly found its purchase, were more famous
than her sacrifice. Small children draw crayon replicas, shouting words of
violence as they pretend to kill one another. And what is left of who she truly
was? A name on a plaque.
the gathered crowd there is silence. Heads are bent, only a handful
understanding why. The rest, well, there was always someone else to be ‘get it
done’. Someone would have saved them, that was the natural order of things.
Someone is speaking words, commemorating her sacrifice, as though they could
possibly comprehend it. She gave so much more than her life, and she is thanked
only for her destruction. She killed Saren. She killed the collectors. She
killed the Reapers. Is that all they can see? Death will taint her memory. She
will become Commander Shepard – Slayer of Reapers.
an Asari leaves the crowd, angry and determined. A relic following hurriedly
behind her, amazed at how these primitives had become family. A Turian has a
fist gripping at the clothing on his chest, as though his heart is trying to
escape. It’s raining, he’ll tell them if they ask why his eyes are wet. It won’t
stop raining. Face free and clear – healthy – a Quarian leads an entire fleet back
to their ship, feet falling hard in the pointless silence. There are Krogan
too, two of them. Their grief is open and terrifying.
will leave, remembering a woman who healed more than she hurt. A woman who
loved, and laughed. She was more to them than a killer. More, even, than a
friend. She was Commander Shepard – A Saviour.
she is ashes, now, drifting. Carried on winds calmer than any she had known.