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March 15, 2012
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Mass Effect: I was lost without you
Mass effect © Bioware
By Danny Buell
A Mass effect 3 fan-fiction




Shepard was standing in a dark forest, his legs frozen, his feet deep in mud, his arms reaching out. As the ashes fell, so did his tears. The land stretching away before him, a white spotlight shinning down below. The screams of so many pouring into his ear. On the other stretch of land, a beautiful Asari with tears pouring down her cheeks. Her form-fitted combat suit accentuated to every curve on her body, his lover… Liara T'soni.

" Liara!" He would shout, but she would still cry, admonishing his cries.

"I thought you were dead Shepard… It has been two years…" Distant whispers echoed. They pierced just more than his heart but everything he stood for. Her image was what kept him from letting Saren finish his mission or let the Collectors allow the Reapers.

Shepard opened his eyes, hearing the voice of Doctor Amanda Kenson over the loudspeaker, blaring into his ear. In front of him was the terminal for the Asteroid launch systems just away from the Alpha relay. The estimated casualties of Batarians in the system was just too high. He had to make a choice though. The Reapers were coming in less than a few hours. It was that or lose everything he lived for, Humanity, earth… and Liara. That beautiful Asari he only met on a dig sight. That was two years ago. That life was over. She left him with Cerberus, letting them rebuild him from ashes and into who he was. That didn't mean she still wanted to be with him. She had "Debts" to repay. Why not? It isn't like she has to wait a century for him to die anyway before she could move on to someone else. She was one hundred and eight. She didn't have to be in a emotional relationship, she could have any race she wanted, why him? Grew up in a gang, sole survivor, first Human Spectre, killed Saren, delayed Reapers, knew so much about the Protheans, and was killed by the Collectors. Maybe in his luck and knowledge of the Reapers and Protheans would be his first guess.

" Shepard…" Liara called out from behind. Shepard turned around, his eyes wide open. "Would you seriously forget me like this? Do you think I would forget you?"

Shepard tilted his head in shame but also in pain. He looked back at the countdown timer on the wall, watching the seconds slow down. He looked back at Liara.

" Have you?" He stepped forward.

" Never."

He could feel her biotic allure drawing closer to him. Her human like body, her soft blue eyes. He didn't care if she had hair or lumps of folded skin over her scalp. He didn't care if the pigment of her skin was blue or that she was the Shadow Broker. All he cared about was Liara. The women behind the physically attractive appearances.

His arm reached out to hers, waiting to feel the warmth of her body that he hasn't felt in reality.

When  he opened his eyes, he quickly drew his hand back to his torn and bloody side in defense. Before him was a hue of blue in the shape of Liara. Though it wasn't her. Around him, death and explosions, the ominous siren of a Reaper. He was on the citadel, the Crucible attached to the bottom of the Citadel. His armor, shredded, a wound on his abdomen was bleeding slowly and painfully, his right arm good but limp. The magnum gun anchoring his arm down, his left arm holding the wound.

" You have a choice." The catalyst said.

Shepard turned his head, gazing at the high powered blue energy beam running from the Crucible and into the Citadel. On the left and right are his choices. He was tired, weak, and dying. But something kept him alive. Something was fueling enough energy inside of him to respond. He looked at the catalyst, blood pulsing in his arms.

" But don't you see! Organics deserve to live."

" For what?" It snorted. "To create more chaos? To have the cycles end so that each cycle may end itself."

" Then let that be our fate." Shepard said, grunting. " Organics survive, and that is our prime instinct. You wouldn't understand, because you're a synthetic. You will never know us. You will never understand that we have more to live for than just our destruction."

" History has proven it. The Geth and the Quarians--"

" You cannot determine the fate of the galaxy because of the actions of others! There are people in the galaxy that just want to see peace… and I've proven it." Shepard's eye brows sank in sadness. "Judge the galaxy off of me, not others."

The catalyst stopped to think for a moment, he didn't really considered the possible fate. Shepard was the first organic to show retaliation against the Reapers, he proved everything organic life had to offer. He made peace with the galaxy to stand strong and stand together against the Reapers. He made peace between the Geth and Quarians, two races that have been fighting for a single planet for centuries. At that moment, there might have been a third possible choice… The catalyst looked up at Shepard. "Well… there is a third choice."

Shepard tried to smile but his muscles and face burned with pain. "What is it?"

" It's called Synthesis." He laid his hand out showing down the center path to the laser beam. "Your choice."

Shepard directed his eyes down the path. He thought about it. It beats destroying the galaxy. He thought of Liara, not forgetting her gift before the final fight. The vision of light in darkness. Liara clambering onto his arm, resting her head on his shoulder. He thought about Joker, saluting him in the bridge before he set out. He thought about Garrus, " I'm Garrus Vakarian and this is my favorite spot on the citadel!" That made Shepard chuckled.

" Hey Commander!" Shouted Vega, " I made N7, can you believe it? Since there isn't a former training class… I see you as my teacher."

" Sure Vega… but if you want to stay in N7, no more shuttle crashes, alright?"

" You got it, sir."

Shepard was still limping towards the beam, now reaching the center of the platform, it was still a long walk.

" Aren't the stars so beautiful?" Asked Liara.

" Yeah."

" Someone could get lost in them. Find someplace where they could run away and… live in peace forever."

" They could." Shepard held onto her hand tightly.

Shepard reached the edge of the platform, dropping the pistol. "I'm sorry Liara." He muttered, his eyes swelling, tears running down his burnt face. He stepped back a few feet, then with all his strength, he sprinted down the platform, arms spread wide, falling into the laser with his eyes closed. All those memories, they were all he had left. Now all he had to do, was wait for Garrus at the bar he talked about.


Shepard gasped quickly. His heart beating like a war drum. Thump thump, thump thump, doubling beats per second. Beads of sweat trickled down his forehead and chest. He came to realize where he was. He was sitting on his cot in the Normandy SR1, he could tell by the blue illuminated lights racing from top to bottom of the door that led in and out of his cabin. In between those lights was "Normandy SR1". He gasped harder. It was a dream. It was a dream. It WAS a dream.

He peered over his shoulder, feeling warmth emitting from a living source at his side. Liara's tender limbs were curled up at his side underneath the blue Alliance blanket draped over his bed. She was sound asleep. She was real. He gently unraveled himself from her, sliding his legs over the edge of the bed. When his feet hit the cold floor, his pulse jumped, the shock of the sudden temperature made him jump a little, enough to wake Liara up. She moaned with a smile, not forgetting the intense and passionate night they had together. She crawled up behind him, pressing her body against his, resting her chin on his broad shoulders.

" What's the matter?" She whispered into his ears.

The horrific dream of death still lingered in his mind though, was it fate? Was that truly what he had to be. If so, he wanted to make his last moments with Liara what they could be.

" I saw death… destruction… and…" He closed his eyes, trying to hold in the pain.

" And what?"

" And my death." He stood up, grabbing his underwear. Liara slid her legs over the edge, standing up and reaching out to him but he moved away.

" I don't know what is real anymore. Maybe Saren is just a dream and all of this is some story a stargazer is telling to a child on some random snowy planet. Maybe…"

She draped her arms around him, pressing her warm and naked skin against his, her soft tender lips touching his. After a long passionate kiss, she tilted her head back. " If we all die tomorrow, or if this a dream, then it'll be a dream I'll never forget, because no matter what happens, I love you."

" I love you too Liara." He held her tightly, kissing her. In his mind, he still couldn't shake off the memory. Maybe in the future this will be his fate but for now, all he had was Liara and nothing was stopping him from living peacefully with her in his arms. Not even a horrible fate that would talk away much more than just his own life but the choices and everything he's done. If that was the future, he knew that was his fate to accept and that no matter what, he'll be waiting for Liara.

He lowered her onto his bed, leaving a few inches apart from their mouths. "I was lost without you." He whispered.
A Mass Effect 3 fan fiction for the group Biowarefanclub for the Contest "Now and Then" featuring a romance between Shepard and a NPC. I chose Shepard and Liara and how he went through the game series (and how I felt) with both characters shifting apart slowly and then coming back together. Please Comment and tell me how I did.
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:iconzaki385:
Zaki385 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012
thank you
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:iconfreelancerrook:
Freelancerrook Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012  Student Writer
np
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:iconinversereality-2:
InverseReality-2 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
Abstract, surreal, and ultimately: sweet. The story left me feeling that it was less about actual events of Shepard’s life and much more about Shepard’s emotional anchor: Liara. The opening set the mood for suspension with a great description of Shepard in medias res: action paused, life paused, the universe paused, reflecting the story's theme. (And, if the last few moments of this fic are to be used as our final indicator of time frame, then the story itself takes place in a “pause” before the last events of the game.) I very much like for all of these elements, though in and of themselves vague and without much context, come together to form a story about emotional cores and the relationship between these two characters.

The story is most successful when its form follows this theme. When sentences are chained together not so much for its contextual meaning, but for emotional impact. One example is how quotes from the NPCs lead us towards Shepard’s final decision. We are first given the quotes, not knowing what Shepard is doing, and then told: “Shepard was still limping towards the beam, now reaching the center of the platform, it was still a long walk.” The natural suggestion is that each quote, each memory in Shepard’s mind, leads him to the final decision he is about to make. And we, too, as readers, are drawn along with this choice: as if each memory was part of the final argument, the conclusion of which we don’t know until Shepard makes it (but can guess).

There were moments in the description, however, that could be more polished, could be finessed to further enhance this theme. Sentences like this: "They pierced just more than his heart but everything he stood for." – took me out of the story because the structure of the sentence was unclear. What is being pierced, and what is doing the piercing? Echoes? Words? Tears? No clear antecedent. Or word choices in phrases like “biotic allure: it is an odd description for the moment . I understand it’s supposed to convey the physical urgency with which Shepard feels drawn to her, but the adjective doesn’t do the job well.

The most dramatic instance where I think too much effort was put into making the content contextualized is this paragraph here:

“Shepard opened his eyes, hearing the voice of Doctor Amanda Kenson over the loudspeaker, blaring into his ear. In front of him was the terminal for the Asteroid launch systems just away from the Alpha relay. The estimated casualties of Batarians in the system was just too high. He had to make a choice though. The Reapers were coming in less than a few hours. It was that or lose everything he lived for, Humanity, earth… and Liara. That beautiful Asari he only met on a dig sight. That was two years ago. That life was over. She left him with Cerberus, letting them rebuild him from ashes and into who he was. That didn't mean she still wanted to be with him. She had "Debts" to repay. Why not? It isn't like she has to wait a century for him to die anyway before she could move on to someone else. She was one hundred and eight. She didn't have to be in a emotional relationship, she could have any race she wanted, why him? Grew up in a gang, sole survivor, first Human Spectre, killed Saren, delayed Reapers, knew so much about the Protheans, and was killed by the Collectors. Maybe in his luck and knowledge of the Reapers and Protheans would be his first guess.”

This paragraph is definitely necessary to establish Shepard’s history, but the execution of how one sentence and thought flows into the next seems too forced. In terms of its placement, it is a good place for this information to be delivered. I usually don’t care about a character until I’m sure about the writer, and at this point in the story I was invested enough to want to know about this particular Shepard. But in terms of the way the paragraph flows, there could be more done to make the paragraph more natural, the thoughts flow more associatively from one to another. The sentence here: “she could have any race she wanted, why him? Grew up in a gang, sole survivor, first Human Spectre, killed Saren, delayed Reapers, knew so much about the Protheans, and was killed by the Collectors.” Makes it seem like the question “why him?” was only added because the writer wanted to give us a litany of Shepard’s accomplishments. But why does the reader need to know? “Why him?” is actually an important question. It tells us a lot about how Shepard feels about Liara, and how he think she feels about him. And the answer should not be a list of achievements. The answer should be revealing: of Shepard’s hopes as well as his vulnerabilities, and ultimately, lead us to the reason why he fights.

Thanks muchly for the read Freelancerrook,
Inverse
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:iconfreelancerrook:
Freelancerrook Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you, there are a good bunch of tips I can learn from for next time :)
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:icongrailchaser:
grailchaser Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012
Nice fiction.

I don't mind too much if my Shepard dies, as long as it happens in a more concretely meaningful way. Liara is the only reason I would want Shepard to live on.
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:iconfreelancerrook:
Freelancerrook Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you :D
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:iconpredator4170:
Predator4170 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Student Artist
This is a great piece of writing you have made here, i could have done it better myself. It made me cry.
I hope biowere will think right this time and rechange all the endings, but they are also making of the after math of the big bang. All i want is the endings to change and knowing that Liara is safe.
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:iconfreelancerrook:
Freelancerrook Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2012  Student Writer
Thank you for the feedback, please tell me what you would've changed.
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:iconraveneyes21:
raveneyes21 Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012  Student General Artist
Ahhhhh haha ;) Adorkable!!
lol no. It was really good! I like the ending :D
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:iconbattydtno:
battydtno Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2012
beautiful,
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