26 Mar 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 08

It's been a while since I last jumped into the boots of Virgil Shepard.

It started hereMass Effect 2 quickly followed - then life happened. Lady Bear and I moved into a new house, had to set everything back up. I was playing most of my games primarly on the XBox One. I was earning my place at my new job. I was falling deep into the depths of table top gaming with Infinity and drinking the juice of Magic the Gathering.

Life took over, I took up another fucking hobby. I started smoking meat. I tried to enjoy my first summer in Ottawa not working overnights since I met Lady Bear.

Last week I setup the XBox 360 for Lady Bear so she could enjoy Puzzle Quest 2. After playing, I jumped on Burnout Paradise for about and hour and enjoyed myself to no end.

So it got me thinking about my Mass Effect Project... time to finish it. There are some DLC that's not yet been seen by me. I started the project with the plan to finally get into the Citadel DLC and Omega DLC in Mass Effect 3.

Time to get back to work.

Liara was now the Shadow Broker. Garrus had gotten a lead on the man who betrayed his team and killed all of them. Shepard was taking the Normandy to the Citadel. Time to make things right. First off it was a great feeling to have the be back with the game. Having the familiar music pour put of the TV and the worn and familiar controller responding to my commands had a feeling of coming home.

Capt Armadon-Owen Bailey
Head of C-SEC
Garrus was aggressive. He had found out that Sidonis the only survivor of the assault that killed his team had been looking for Fade. A fence and forger who specialized making folks vanish.

Upon arrival EDI had data mined the area and found that C-Sec had an open investigation. Garrus returned to his old job and seemed eager. He was a cop again, on the hunt, asking questions, seeking justice.

Bailey pointed the team to the shipping warehouses in the Neon Markets on the Zakera Wards. Their the Fade ran his contact and face man. A volus and two krogan body guards were there and they were less than helpful. The conversation was spiraling into threats Garrus was itching to shoot but he waited for Shepard to shoot first. With the body guards gone the volus directed the team to a factory and the identity of Fade: Harkin a former C-Sec officer who helped Shepard out early in the previous game. He was disgraced and bitter and it seems that he finally left Citadel Security.

The factory was littered with MECHs and Blue Sun Mercs who were hired by Harkin since word on the street was he was a target. Kasumi stayed on the side while Shepard led the charge, Garus unsurprisingly was keeping up with rifle in hand. It was quick and brutal in the end Harkin gave everything up. Two former C-Sec officers met and parted... only Garus was walking the other had a round in his leg.

With Sardonis' new forged IDs it was time to put him away. Shepard took the lead to act as the Fade while Garus took up a sniper, the only issue the meet was in the markets and they were filled with people. The task was get Sidonis into an open clearing so the crowd was not harmed in the mission. Shepard would be eyes on and act the spotter to Garus.

Sidonis was scared. This suddenly did not feel right. Sidonis was a member of Garus' team. The twelve man unit was based on the model that Shepard, Liara, and Garrus started two years ago. Shepard expected to meet a hardened vet like himself instead he found a man running. Something broke this man. The mission was falling apart because it didn't feel right. Shepard reached out breaking cover. Sidonis just fell apart - everything just came tumbling out. Years of guilt pouring out. Garus heard it all. Sidonis had been taken by the Blue Suns and they threatened him - through Sidonis they set up an ambush that killed the team minus the Garus.

Garus wanted to shoot. Shepard was suddenly in a freighter filled with science experiments. Garus had Dr. Saleon dead to rights. Garus relented and followed Shepard's lead. Shepard blocked the shot and once more reminded Garus of the line between being the monster you hunt and being the violence that is sometimes needed. You can't control them, you can control yourself. Those were words Shepard once said to Garus. Garus held the shot. The return to the Normandy was quiet.

EDI reported that Sidonis had submitted himself to C-Sec. Harkin was arrested as well. Garus returned to his post at the forward battery. Shepard went up to his quarters. "You can't control the reactions of others, but you can control your own." Shepard had said those words and now he felt that he was slipping. He had become so angry, so reactive to events. He was always playing catch-up: Two year of lost time, to a hidden and superior enemy, to Cerberus' influence. Shepard needed to regroup.

Garrus was now fully committed to the mission. His mind was no longer distracted. Old Garrus was once more walking the decks of the Normandy. Shepard flew back to Liara checking in with her and seeing how the operation was running under her control.

The whole information network was now at his finger tips. For once Shepard had access to information that was not filtered by the Systems Alliance Military, Citadel Council, or Cerberus. Shepard was now starting to set things up and get out from under the boot of Cerberus. With Liara, one of the few people he could trust in the galaxy, as his advisor he no longer felt in the dark.

She gave him full access. He started putting resources aside and investing in projects who's outcome could give him another edge. He looked over all the data on his crew. He learned more about them, the gaps were being filled.

Shepard and Liara spoke, he reached out but the threat was still there and they pushed through their feelings to keep on task. He looked at her but if he failed this thing they had again would suffer. She and Garus had become so dark since his death. He looked around him and realized that they had taken on his role. The dirty jobs. Shepard was a martyr, and he took on everything... Garus and Liara tried to fill his role and it tainted them.

No More - Shepard was Back. No longer a physical manifestation but as the ideals that also helped Shepard make those harder choices. He had started to slip because he was following... reacting. No More - Shepard was leading. Shepard was here again. No one else had to become dirty anymore.

It was time to get back to work.


It was so great getting back into the mix. Garrus and Kasumi fighting side by side was like getting back on a familiar bike. Secondly this mission reminded me of Shepard's motivation and origin. He was the dirty jobs guy. He got the worst of the needed work done. He took the brunt - he needed to make things right.

- Cheers