3 Oct 2014

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 01

Commander Virgil Shepard - SSV Normandy SR1 CO

After Action Report

It's been months since the Citadel, now Shepard and the crew are patrolling the Amada system in the Omega Nebula. While near Alchera searching for the source of missing vessels - or a possible Geth raider an unknown vessel was discovered. Once discovered the ship moved in to intercept the Normandy ignoring the ships state of the art stealth systems and started firing.

One shot the of the unknown ships beam weapons drops the Normandy's barrier and weapons. The second shot did worse. Joker watched Navigator Pressly die on the flight deck of the Normandy - along with a dozen or so others across the whole ship.

Liara in full armour suited up and ran to collect Shepard. There were holes in the hull. Bodies were everywhere floating in Normandy, the artificial gravity had been lost since the second shot. Shepard ordered Liara to grab as many of the crew as possible. Joker was left at the conn and Shepard would not let Joker die when Joker had saved their lives countless times before. Liara was in shock - Shepard was ignoring the fear and the death, he had to. He had become cold simply because doing otherwise would only slow him down. Liara concided and with a final longing look back ran to save those she could.

Shepard now alone walked through the Normady as she quickly became a tomb.

Stay alive - find out what and why later. Just live.

Shepard broke Joker's arm lifting the stubborn pilot out of his chair and helped him to the last escape pod. He seated Joker down when another beam from the enemy vessel's weapon cut into the hull separating Shepard from the pod.

Shepard grabbed the wall, looked back at Joker and launched the pod. Within seconds the Normandy's hull finaly ruptured from the damage and slowly broke apart in Alchera's orbit. Debris struck Shepard's armour and oxygen from his armour started to vent out. Shepard struggled with his armour uselessly as he started to enter Alchera's atmosphere. He fought with every last breath as he fell towards the surface of Alchera.

Shepard was dead.

Shepard dreamed - of burnt skin, implants, new blood, scans...
Miranda Lawson - Cerberus Senior Agent/Officer
by Bioware
He awoke to alarms and a familiar voice. The voice was Miranda Lawson - Commanding Officer of the Lazarus Research Station and project lead of the Lazarus project.

Lazarus Project over 4 billion credits and 2 years to bring back one man:

Commander Virgil Shepard - Human Spectre

Now the station is under attack, Miranda has woken Shepard remotely from another part of the station and the security Mechs have gone rogue killing everyone in the station.

Virgil is weak, his Botics are lacking and he is sluggish. He finds a pistol and like the phoenix is born in fire. Yet again this fire is the light of weapons fire and Shepard knows this - it's far to familiar. Miranda voice guides Shepard through the station before she is cut off. Shepard goes on until he meets the head of security - Jacob Taylor. He also learns that the station and all of the personnel are Cerberus agents working for the Illusive Man - leader of the organization.

Together the two humans fight there way to Dr Wilson the Chef Medical Officer of the project. Wounded and rude - demanding immediate escape regardless of any other possible survivors. Shepard already knew the man from the scattered reports he had found while fighting his way through the station. Wilson was unhappy with the direction and control of the project under Miranda.

When the three fought their way to secure the shuttles, Wilson was killed - shot by Miranda who accused Wilson of sabotaging the station and betraying the project. With the last shuttle, Miranda and Jacob evac Shepard from the project and take to meet the Illusive Man

Shepard is armed and equipped - Jacob is a former Alliance covert soldier and survivor on the attack on Eden Prime. Frustrated with the red tape that constantly prevented his from being able to do his job, Jacob was recruited by Miranda into Cerberus. A group he believes can do good even though he does not trust the organizations darker activities and shady history.

The Illusive Man - leader of Cerberus has a goal to keep humanity safe, no matter the cost. A alien race called the Collectors have been raiding isolated and small Human colonies in the fringes of space. Leaving no trace of their passing and no colonists. He thinks they are the ones that killed Shepard and destroyed the Normandy. He asks Shepard to go and investigate the most recent colony attack - Freedom's Progress. Once more Miranda and Jacob join Shepard as they travel to the nearby colony.

There the find nothing. The security Mechs have been reprogrammed and attack everything on site. Shepard's team deals with the Mechs quickly before running into another team. Tali is leading a team of Quarians who are looking for one of their own - Veetor. They believe that Veetor is sick and is the one who's reworked the security Mechs.

Tali is surprised by Shepard's appearance and only by telling the story of giving her the Geth data for her pilgrimage did she accept the man before her was Virgil Shepard. After defusing some friction between the Cerberus agents and the Quarian rescue team, Shepard led his team to secure the area and help in the search.

Ignoring Tali the Quarian team rushed Veetor's location and were gunned down, leaving Shepard to lead the assault against the sick Quarian's mechs. Shepard was quickly getting back into form. His new biotic implants allowed him to rush enemies and slam them with the force of a battering ram. Leading the charge once more Shepard put down the Mechs with support from his team.

Veetor was given over to Tali and her people under protest from Miranda. She was a true Cerberus agent while Jacob' wariness of the organization was reassuring to Virgil. Tali returned the favor and gave Shepard a copy of the security data that Veetor had kept.

Upon returning and reporting to the Illusive Man, Shepard was given the chance to fight the collectors by leading a team to assault the Omega 4 relay, the only access to collector space with the full funding and resources of Cerberus. Reluctantly Shepard accepted - this was a threat. It was linked to the Reapers and no one else was doing anything about it.

Once more Shepard was a man crying wolf.

So he agreed - his mission, his command.  The Illusive Man nodded saying he would not want it any other way saying that Shepard would need to gather the team himself. Shepard lost in the whirlwind of thoughts after stepping off the communication platform was brought back to the real world when he heard Joker's voice.

Normandy SR-2
by Bioware
Joker and a few of the Normandy's surviving crew had been asked to join Cerberus in order to once more work and fight with Shepard. Joker then showed Shepard's the next surprise...

A ship. Joker explained the Cerberus was the driving force behind the SSV Normady SR-1 project before they had been branded rogue. They had designed a larger ship with plenty of Cerberus technology.

Joker asked what name Shepard had chosen for his new ship.

The Normandy was a good name - she would be a fine ship. The Normandy SR-2 left the Cerberus outpost and Shepard was now cast into the galaxy. A handful of personnel files for possible team mates, a new crew, a new life - Shepard was back. Allied with an enemy the uneasy alliance would hinge on Shepard being able to take the burden and the stigma that came with being involved with Cerberus.

Shepard upon leaving the Illusive Man made it clear - he was not a Cerberus agent. He was a Systems Alliance Commander and Citadel Spectre. He was working with Cerberus - but not for Cerberus.

So he settled into his new quarters and planned. His personal message station was already filling with messages from people who had declared him dead. Slowly over time he read through them all and found one that needed his immediate attention.

SSV Normandy SR-1 Crash Site Memorial
by Bioware
The Crash site of the Normandy SR-1 on the ice planet of Alchera.

Joker plotted the course and Shepard arrived. He remembered those who died two years ago since he took command of the ship. Shepard combed the wreckage and found dog tags of his crew. The Systems Alliance had said many of the crew were unaccounted for. Shepard found the remains of twenty crew. To him their loss was fresh only days old while their families have been suffering for over two years.

Shepard found his helmet and flashes of old memories. Jenkins, Ash... he found his old helmet. He lingered long enough to decide a place to put the Memorial before returning to his mission.

Commander Shepard was once again off to save the galaxy.

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Shepard was a man out of time caught in a deal with the very devil he had hunted no less than a few months ago from his own recollection.

I found it hard to select the choices that Shepard would pick in quite a few cases. I defaulted to reminding people that he was not a member of Cerberus, his distrust and loathing of the group before focusing on his own personality that had been developed last game.

This would be a constant source of conflict for Shepard but I looked forward to playing though the game with that always present friction.