“But take heart, look around you. You are not in this fight alone”
Here’s a little trick he picked up from Anderson. You tell your guys what they need to hear, not what you know better than to believe in.
Once upon a time, there was this soldier stationed on Akuze. You’ve probably already heard about what happened there. Well, he was the only man who made it out of that situation alive. And he saw things, terrible things, things he wished he could slice out of his brain and heart so they wouldn’t be there anymore, the shadow on his mind.
That’s what it means. Humanity. The guilt that comes along, sneaks up on you until you’re traveling side by side. It makes the jumps with you, matches your speed. It pulls the trigger until your hand’s cramping. And you spend your days and nights looking to right that balance. To pay the darkness back for what you stole from it.
Should’ve been me, could’ve been me. Has to be me.
It’s nobody else, so Shepard can’t get it wrong.
There they are. He loves them, sure. Even that one guy whose name he doesn’t know. He’s got no more room for names, ones that try to stand in for those filling up memorial walls.
His team. His family.
So a turian, an asari, an AI, a biotic, a Prothean and a marine walk onto earth…
Thanks for eternity, Liara. I wouldn’t have wanted to embrace it with anybody else but you.
Thanks for calibrating my heart, Garrus. You’ll never know just how much you were my big damn hero.
Thanks for the sanity check, Kaidan. The soft place to land. All that integrity. For not asking what I was dreaming about, either.
Thanks for the clarity, Javik. It takes a lot to stand by somebody else’s hope—to fight for something of yours that’s already gone.
Thanks for saving my ass too many times to count, EDI. We’re human ‘cause we’re afraid, and that sucks about as much as it is beautiful.
Thanks for kicking my ass, James. That hard head’s a good one. You’ve got this. Just don’t think you can carry the whole damn thing alone on your big shoulders.
But he doesn’t say all that. He’s a soldier, a CO, an operation. He’s an accident. He’s what he does with the time given to him.
He turns around. Even though they’ve got his back, it’s like the darkness on Akuze. Going back in time. Doing what he can. Well excuse me for living.
Maybe that’s where the nightmares come from. That kid he saw in Vancouver, the one he couldn’t save.
You can unite the galaxy all you want. You’re still going to die alone.