To: Commander Shepard
From: Omega Clinic Desk
Subject: Things are quiet again…
Commander, I thought I'd write to you to let you know how we've been doing. First off, I wanted to thank you for saving me from those batarians. I thought I'd seen the worst of people's anger and fear at Dr. Solus' clinic. I had no idea how much anger his work was keeping in check, how bad it really was. If not for you, I'd be dead. Thank you.
The clinic is doing well now. The plague is gone and I've been able to handle everything without too much trouble. The Blue Suns keep offering to take over security here. I keep the mechs powered on. I won't make the same mistake twice.
To: Omega Clinic Desk
I'm glad to hear that you're doing well. Mordin was confident you could handle the clinic in his absence and was proud to hear that everything was taken care of because of you.
Omega's a dangerous place. There's no denying it. I'm glad to know that there are some people still trying to make it a better one.
Good luck with your work. I'll pass on your sentiments to Mordin as well.
From: Admiralty Board, Migrant Fleet
To: Commander Shepard
Subject: Transfer Request Approved
Per Tali'Zorah vas Neema's request included with her data delivery from Haestrom, the Admiralty Board has approved her transfer to your command. She has been informed that additional duties to the Migrant Fleet may still be necessary on occasion, but has been given extended leeway to determine when her mission with you is considered complete.
This choice was hers, but your role as de facto captain during her Pilgrimage may have caused her to be more susceptible to your requests. The Admiralty Board trusts that you will treat your new crew member with the respect due an honored member of the Fleet. Should any harm come to her due to negligence on your part, this board will take severe and appropriate action.
Migrant Fleet Admiralty Board
To: Admiralty Board, Migrant Fleet
From: Commander Shepard
Subject: My Gratitude
Tali is a valued member of my team and a loyal friend. She honors me with her choice to travel voluntarily on my mission. That said, I would never allow harm to come to her if it was within my power to protect her. You have my word that I will do everything I can to see that she returns safely to the Migrant Fleet. I had hoped that my actions on Haestrom were proof enough that I can be as capable as any of your marines, but I do understand your concern.
As an admiral, I'm sure you have the utmost confidence in her abilities to successfully navigate through any hardship.
As a father, I'm sure you worry about her well-being, no matter the circumstances.
As her commanding officer, I am aware of her strengths and limits. And I can testify that she is a true model of what the quarian people can offer to the galaxy.
As her friend, I have never regretted meeting her. She came at a critical point in both the Alliance's and my own future. That is not something that I will ever forget.
I hope to conclude my mission as soon as possible and return Tali unharmed to the Migrant Fleet. And I wish thank you for your patience and understanding.
Command John Shepard,
Commanding Officer of the Normandy SR-2 and Agent of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Office
From: Robyn Reeve
To: Commander Shepard
Subject: Can you help?
The Alliance soldier here gave me this contact information – I hope this reaches you.
I understand that you are trying to stop those Collectors. They took my son and my brother. Have you found them? Do you know where they are? I know you're looking, but so many people are just gone. Every family lost someone. The children are the worst. Empty desks at the schools, winter clothes that never got worn.
Please. The Alliance isn't doing anything. The Council isn't doing anything. If you can find out people, I'm begging you to do something. Tell me something I can do.
Tell me anything.
To: Robyn Reeve
From: Commander Shepard
Subject: I Promise to do What I Can
Rest assured that every effort is being made to bring the perpetrators to justice. The crimes they have committed will not go unpunished.
I will not do you the disservice of lying to you. We have scant information about the Collectors, but there are several brave and dedicated people working with me right now, searching for any and all knowledge of our enemy. Steps are being taken to locate and stop them, once and for all. I cannot promise that I will find your family or the families of the others, but you have my word that I will do everything I can to see to it that they answer for their heinous acts of aggression.
I understand your frustration with the lack of response from the Citadel, but you can trust me.
I won't give up.
Command John Shepard,
Commanding Officer of the Normandy SR-2
Subject: Hey there
Just wanted to let you know that I'm alright. When I lost you two years ago, it tore me up. I prayed for you every day. I read a lot of Tennyson, thinking about you, just like I did when my dad passed. And then you came back and it was like my prayers were answered. But I'm not who I was then and neither are you.
I don't know what's true anymore. Part of me can't believe it's really you. I keep going back to that night before Ilos, our night… I haven't let myself thing about those memories for more than a year now.
I wouldn't have expected you to work with Cerberus, but I understand why they sent you to Horizon. I saw how many people were lost there and if anyone can stop the Collectors, you can. I can't go where you're going, but I can wish you luck.
Just stay alive there, Skipper. I don't know what the future holds, but I can't lose you a second time.
Death closes all: but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods.
Subject: Re: Hey there
A vast similitude interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets,
All distances of place however wide,
All distances of time, all inanimate forms,
All souls, all living bodies though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes, the fishes, the brutes,
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages,
All identities that have existed or may exist on this globe, or any globe,
All lives and deaths, all of the past, present, future,
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann'd,
And shall forever span them and compactly hold and enclose them.
I hope you like the poem. It seemed fitting two years ago. I'm sure you know it.
I'm glad to know that you're alright. When I heard that you were on Horizon and the Collectors were attacking… You have no idea how relieved I was to know the worst didn't happen.
I'm starting to catch up to my missing two years. I've just about met up with everyone from the old squad except Wrex. I won't deny it though.
Things have changed.
Garrus, Tali, Liara… you. We've all changed. It's painful to admit to it, but it seems we've all drifted apart somehow.
This mission I'm on… It's dangerous. More than any I've participated in. I know I'll succeed, but at what cost? Who knows what the future might bring.
I don't know.
I don't know what will happen, what I'll do, or what repercussions that might follow. I just know that the Collectors and the Reapers need to be stopped. Whatever the cost.
I hope to see you again, Ash. And I'm glad that we're still friends.
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather to the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fields,
And thinking of the days that are no more.
'Fresh as the first beam glittering on the sail,
That brings our friends up from the underworld,
Sad as the last which reddens over one
That sinks with all we love below the verge;
So sad, so fresh, the days that are no more.
'Ah, sad and strange as in dark summer dawns
The earliest pipe of half-awaken'd birds
To dying ears, when unto dying eyes
The casement slowly grows a glimmering square;
So sad, so strange, the days that are no more.
'Dear as remember'd kisses after death,
And sweet as those by hopeless fancy feign'd
On lips that are for others; deep as love,
Deep as first love, and wild with all regret;
O Death in Life, the days that are no more.'
It's been a while since I've done a chapter like this, so I thought I'd use it to warm up for the next.
It was pretty challenging, emotionally speaking. I'm hoping that my romance will be much better.
The first poem is On the Beach at Night Alone, by Walt Whitman. The second is Tears, Idle Tears, by Alfred Tennyson. (See what I did there?)
For those of you that impatient for Shepard/Miranda romance, I think I've finally hit that milestone. First, they were distrustful of each other, then mild dislike (Alliance/Cerberus backgrounds mainly) and now a mutual respect.
Here's hoping that I'll be up to the task.
BTW: 200+ reviews! Yay!
Please continue to review and let me know your thoughts.