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Alright, so having read LL3 and made some connections to what we know about Anode now, I have a new theory about her. I was half-right with my last theory and, taking some new revelations in mind, something occurred to me. Actually, this is more a theory about Lug, but it’s heavily dependent on Anode.

Spoilers for LL3 ahead, be warned.

Keep reading

M is for Maw

A future, to-be-expanded chapter of my Eliza Shepard alphabet fic, in honor of all the Sole Survivors out there. 

********** 

Shepard, Garrus was learning, had a damn strange sense of humor. Maybe it was a human thing, maybe it was a Spectre thing – he couldn’t be sure. All he knew was that he called her “commander” exactly once after the Normandy left the Citadel, and after her face very clearly said fresh meat, she referred to him as “Officer Garrus Vakarian, formerly of C-Sec” for a solid week. 

“I didn’t quit,” he reminded her, as they bumped along in the Mako. Wrex snored nearby, so for all intents and purposes, this was a private conversation. The first, he realized, gripping his safety harness a little tighter. 

She swore under her breath and gunned the thrusters; somewhere under his feet, the Mako whined, and Garrus started making a mental checklist of everything he’d need to repair when they got back. “So you keep telling me,” she said, once the Mako sprang free of the waist-deep mud and plunged forward. “I didn’t know C-Sec let you take leaves of absence.” 

“It’s not common,” Garrus said, definitely not thinking about Pallin’s expression – and the specific phrasing the Executor used – when he’d requested a leave to work with the First Human Spectre. “But it does happen. I think I made a strong case.” 

Shepard laughed, an unexpectedly light and clear sound over the roar of the engines. “I bet you did, Garrus. You were chomping at the bit to go after Saren long before I showed up. So tell me – how’s that working out so oh for fuck’s sake.” 

The Mako had stalled again, wheels whirring in the stinking mud that Garrus could smell even through four layers of air filters. 

“We’re going to break an axle if this keeps up,” Shepard said. She grimaced and scratched at her amp. “Want to come get some air and check it out?” 

“The atmosphere’s toxic, comma – sure, Shepard,” Garrus replied. She gave him a smug look as she sealed her helmet, but kept any other comments to herself.

“Keep an eye on things, Wrex,” Shepard called as she unsealed the hatch. 

Wrex, who hadn’t bothered to take his helmet off to begin with, shrugged a little deeper in his seat and kept snoring. 

“Ass,” Shepard muttered over the comms, with what sounded suspiciously like affection to Garrus, and swung outside. 

A few rocks dotted the muddy plains, which meant Garrus didn’t need to slog through the mud but got to skip around like a kid instead. Shepard managed to look both graceful and efficient as she moved, never once off-balance or over-cautious. 

Garrus watched her check the Mako over with the usual stew of emotions in his gut: admiration, a fierce urge to start an argument for no good reason, pride that he got picked to work alongside her, confusion over all her idiosyncracies, and a thick wash of envy. Why her, instead of him? 

He tried to remind himself his time would come – and a good working relationship with a Spectre would only help when it did – but the envy stayed put. It didn’t help that Shepard did everything so confidently, whether that was kicking mud off the Mako’s axle or taking down a geth colossus. 

At least she deserves to be a Spectre, he told himself, and bent to start cleaning off the rear axles. 

The stones under his feet vibrated, faint enough that he could blame it on the engines, but Shepard jerked upright at the edge of his vision, her head whipping back and forth as she scanned the horizon. 

“Shepard?” he asked. She ignored him. He couldn’t read her face through her visor, but a fine tension rode her shoulders, set her spine steel-straight. “What is it?” 

The vibration changed – it deepened, widened, until the Mako shuddered and the mud churned at his feet. 

Shepard made a choked noise, barely audible over the engines and the vibration, and reached over her shoulder. Not for her shotgun, Garrus noticed, his gut clenching, but her never-used assault rifle. 

“Shepard!” he shouted, as the ground opened up fifty meters ahead of them. 

She screamed and opened fire. 

To the day he died, long after he knew the truth, Garrus remembered her scream. It didn’t sound like any sound a living throat could make, and it went on and on until it was all he could hear, and by the time he figured out that he was hearing the maw’s shriek along with Shepard, she was shoving him back inside the hatch. 

“Get – get on the guns!” she yelled, throwing herself into the driver’s seat. Wrex was already raking the maw with machine gun fire, and Garrus heaved himself behind the grenade launcher controls. It was damn near impossible to aim with Shepard zig-zagging across the plain and the maw’s acid spattering less than a meter away, but he managed more than a few hits he was proud of, later. 

When the maw’s body finally hit the ground, and stayed there, Shepard didn’t stop. She kept driving, her hands so tight on the wheel Garrus wondered that he couldn’t hear them creaking, and over the comms he heard the high, whining note of her breathing. 

So the great Commander Shepard’s not always so confident, he thought, to make himself feel better. It didn’t help. He stared at the back of her helmet, listened to Wrex mutter about not getting enough action, and remembered one word. 

Akuze

This maw didn’t count for his kill list, Garrus decided. The next one, definitely – but this one, this one he’d forget. 

Slowly, Shepard’s breathing went back to normal, but her hands stayed tight on the wheel, all the way back to the Normandy

  • what she says: I'm fine
  • what she means: One Direction (commonly abbreviated as 1D) are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously, Zayn Malik until his departure from the band on 25 March 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, One Direction's four albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013) and Four (2014) topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young", and "Story of My Life". Their fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., was released in November 2015. Their awards include six Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, eleven MTV Europe Music Awards, seven American Music Awards (including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015), and 27 Teen Choice Awards, among many others. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, by April 2013, they had an estimated personal combined wealth of £25 million ($41.2m) making them the second-wealthiest musicians in the UK under 30 years of age. In 2014, Forbes listed them the second-highest earning celebrities under 30, with the group earning an estimated $75 million from June 2013 to June 2014. In June 2015, Forbes listed their earnings at $130 million for the previous twelve months, and ranked them the fourth highest earning celebrities in the world. After the release of Four, One Direction became the first band in the U.S. Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at number one. Their third album, Midnight Memories, was the biggest-selling album worldwide of 2013 despite being released in late November. The band's Where We Are Tour in support of Midnight Memories and Four, was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014, and the highest-grossing tour ever by a vocal group, generating $282 million.In 2014, Billboard named One Direction Artist of the Year. The band is temporarily on a hiatus that began in January 2016, which is expected to last around 18 months.