2 Apr 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 09

Before Shepard left Liara's new base - he spent time pouring over the Shadow Broker's files on each of his team. He said goodbye to Liara promising to return often as possible. Shepard ordered the Normandy away and he met with his team one on one.

Miranda as Shepard's liaison between him and the Illusive Man was the first to make a request. She had gotten word that her sister had been found by her father - the man who had genetically modified her to be perfect. Shepard had agreed to help in hopes to have Miranda on his side when Cerberus would eventually turn on Shepard. After reading the file on Miranda, Shepard was convinced this was a worthy effort. She was deep in the world that Shepard had found himself in. It was his job to free everyone else.

Shepard and Garrus escorted Miranda on to Illium and took a local shuttle to meet with her childhood friend Niket. He was one of the few whom she trusted with the information of her sister. Before they could land Eclipse Mercenary Gunships shot down their shuttle. Landing hard a few meters off from the Mercs Shepard and his team move aggressively to meet with the Mercs who are being led by an Engineer. She orders the Mercs to hold fire and explains matter of factly to Miranda that Niket and her sister are being escorted off planet by Eclipse Captain Enyala. All the while the Mercs spread out around Shepard's team getting into better fire positions.

Eclipse - Shepard had just put down their elite team called the 'Sisterhood' who tried to smuggle out Minagen-X3. He had fought his way through them when he recruited Kasumi. Lastly and most importantly they tried to kill Garrus because he was better at killing them. Eclipse was full of the wrong people. Shepard ends the conversation. He breaks the Engineers neck and blows a shipping container above the heads of the Mercs getting into position. The combat is quick - Garrus probably had a bead before the fight broke out, and most of the mercs died before Shepard and Miranda could react (Seriously awesome - Garrus just rocked the fight, I only got one attack off before it ended). 


The fight spilled deeper into the shipping terminal. Shepard led the charge while Garrus support fire kept Shepard from getting swarmed. Miranda introduced an element of chaos into the fights. Her biotic abilities reminded Shepard of Liara, but lacking the same control and level of power. The team got to a lift that would get them to Miranda's younger genetic twin. She laments that Niket is only person left from her old life that she could trust. The lift opened up at the Cargo Terminal and Shepard and his team moved in. EDI contacts Shepard updating him that Eclipse has shut down the lifts access to Dock 94 where Oriana and Niket are located.

Niket, Capt Enyala, and a Illium Dock Worker
by Bioware
Once more Eclipse sends troops to put down Shepard and his team. They cut through them quickly as before only to get to the last access lift. When the team arrive at Dock 94 they find Niket arguing with Captain Enyala. Niket was working with Eclipse and had broke Miranda's trust. She was angry - she leveled the gun at him and he explained that he didn't know the truth about her father and Oriana because Miranda had kept it all to herself.

He made a choice that he thought would help - had he known, had Miranda been less secretive, had she trusted him with the truth. Miranda was ready to kill her oldest friend, Shepard pushed her pistol aside. Took many people had already made the wrong choice it needed to stop. Miranda looked up as Niket apologized. He looked truly sorry - he also died. The somber tone exploded as Enyala shot Niket in the back and called her teams to her position. It ended quickly - Shepard left the team and went right for Enyala.

He fired a few rounds between the various cargo containers that littered the area before he charged a shot and slammed into Enyala. She staggered but held her ground only long enough to have the charged shot put her down. Miranda and Garrus were putting down the rest of the mercs catching up to Shepard who decided to continue his assault from the Mercs flank now that their boss was down.

When everything was sorted Miranda and the rest of the team watched Miranda's sister and her adopted family get ready to once more vanish into obscurity. Miranda no longer felt as sure as she normally was and asked if revealing herself to her sister was a good idea.

It was an easy question for Shepard who had lost his family on Mindoir. He had spend years asleep away from his friends, family, and Liara. He had seen what happens when you just watch from the shadows. It took loosing each other for Liara to finally come back to him and he to her. He found himself helping his friends and easing their personal burdens. Miranda will need her sister. So Miranda breathed deeply and introduced herself to her clone twin.

Once back on board the Normandy, Shepard ordered Joker to check on the beacon of the Hugo Gernsback. The planet was habitable and Jacob was eager to get out to finish this mystery that had haunted him for years. Garrus was quiet when the team landed in sight of the ruined System Alliance ship. There were a few logs from the ship's Captain, Capt. Harris Fairchild. Many of the crew had survived but they were unable to call out for help. This forced the survivors to settle long term until they could generate a signal.

While Jacob poured over the data from the various ship logs collected, Garrus called out as a scared confused human stumbled into view. She was being hunted by men who were acting feral. They did not last long against Shepard and the team. The feral crewmen led Shepard to a small village not far from the ship where Shepard and Jacob piece together what happened. The officers ate the ship rations once it became clear that the local food sources would retard the mental faculties of humans. They had built slaves and harems out of the crew and lived like kings - even after the beacon was repaired.

Jacob was angry and it showed as Shepard and the team fough their way through MECHS and survivors to get to Jacob's father. The last sane man. He had killed everyone to prolonge his control and once the safe supplies started to run out and the crew started to rebel he finally called the beacon. Jacob was willing to kill him there - so was Shepard. Shepard turned to Jacob and ordered him to arrest him. Ronald Taylor would be dragged through the courts and the justice system shamed and loathed by his people. He would be rescued in order to bring light down onto the survivors who were suffering.

This would not be another Zhu's Hope where the rest of the galaxy was oblivious to the damage. This was not to be only whispered about in the bars of Omega. This needed to be front and center if these people were to get the help they needed they needed.

Jacob returned to the Normandy not happy but resolved to make the galaxy safer. The Collectors were just another threat to those who live outside the light and he would stand against them.

Lastly it was Jack who came to Shepard next. She had found where Cerberus had modified her. She had found the source of her dreams and nightmares. A secret base on Pragia. Hidden deep in a jungle the base was empty and in ruin. Shepard took Garus hoping he'd be able to keep sharp while Shepard focused on Jack.

Jack had escaped and destroyed the place on the way out. The walls were dark and the flickers of light from slowly dying terminals as power leaked enough energy to keep them running. Jack was angry, each junction was a memory. Each terminal a log or report on what they did and who she was. Half way through they found Blood Pack Mercs scavenging the area. They were no the outlet of Jack's rage and frustration.

They found her old room. They also found another survivor Aresh. He had hired to the Blood Pack much like Jack had brought Shepard. Aresh was mad, another broken toy from this house of lethal dolls. Jack was ready to step back into the dark - Shepard stopped her. Killing Aresh would do nothing. Letting him live would make her better than what this place tried to make of her. She would be better if she stopped. Jack took it in one last time and returned to the shuttle. She had fought her way out and fought her way back in. But this time she walked out - head higher than the darkness that tried to keep her under. She blew the station up and everything that did to her.

Once back Jack headed straight for Miranda's room. Jack was no longer catching up she was now on the offensive. Shepard brought a stop to it. Both had suffered and even if they couldn't see it both women were made to be powerful people but it was what they did, how they used that power that truly made them who they are - powerful. Powerful enough to be on the Normandy and fight the Reapers. The fight was over and Shepard returned to his station.

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I had written some of this last year but now that I'm catching up with my notes I'm remembering the choices I made and how they played out.

Coming back was awesome and the loyalty quests getting completed seems more organic when I add my narrative. I have a few more to complete and they are in the queue but I'm only playing them as they would make sense to Shepard. I'm not sure if I'll complete all of them but I will act as Shepard would.