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The Story of Shepard: A Ten Year Retrospective, Part 3

November 8, 2017

That brings us to The Reaper War. No doubt those events still plague our minds every day that passes. We see the faces of loved ones crushed beneath those behemoths, disemboweled by Banshees, or converted into any of the other countless monstrosities unleashed on the Milky Way. Yet those nightmares, remind us that they're exactly that. Memories of a dark time, no longer can those demons torment us physically or threaten our lives. Shepard put an end to it. 

I had the pleasure to serve on the Normandy during Shepard's quest to stop The Reapers. I met many of his friends, interacted with them on a personal level that I'll never be able to forget. I heard their stories, and I've tried my best to contain them in my writings. I remember Tali, her sparkling eyes felt like beacons of hope beneath that dark helmet. I talked to Kolyat about his father, his voice beamed with pride when discussing the hero that was Thane Krios. I met Mordin, we talked about the beaches of Bekenstein and the brilliant colored shells I used to collect as a child. I watched Geth fight side by side with organics in order to preserve the independence. I witnessed Quarian ships fall from the sky, a whole race doomed by the folly of it leaders. I saw hope in the eyes of Krogans every where. Wrex even shed a tear, though I promised I wouldn't tell Shepard.  I saw Cerberus burned to the ground, and refugees experimented on in painful ways. The world cheered when The Reapers fell, then quickly mourned all we lost. 

Shepard always tried to protect his family. He never had one growing up, but the Normandy became his home. Yet, even he couldn't stop the deaths of many close to him. Samara, the noble warrior that gave her own life rather than kill her Ardat-Yakshi daughter. Miranda Lawson, who sacrificed herself to save her sister from their madman father. Mordin, the brilliant scientist that paid for his past mistakes in order to bring light to this world. Thane, who protected member of the Council from Cerberus assassins. Legion and Tali. One sacrificed himself to free his people, the other witnessed her people extinguished for their folly. Tragically, the Geth and EDI died so The Reapers could be defeated. Admiral Anderson, the man that gave Shepard the tools to be the hero we all needed.

I visited Shepard the other day. His surviving friends regularly stop by to talk about their lives. Jack talks about her students. Liara talks about her family. Garrus reminisces of the time they spent together. He never responds, but his presence never fades. Time has a way of healing old wounds. Many of us had to grieve, some longer than others. We bargained, we raged, we cried, until finally we woke up one morning and realized it wasn't the end. We still have more of our story to tell, and it's all because of an orphan from the slums of Earth.

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