- Evil Author Day
- Dark Themes
- Discussion - Suicide
- No Beta
“No one compares to you. I’m scared that you won’t be waiting on the other side.”
Kaiden Alenko jolted upright in his bunk, waking from his dream in a cold sweat. The nightmare that had awakened him was a familiar one. The day that the Normandy had been fired upon by the mysterious cruiser and obliterated. The day that his lover, the Spectre Operative Commander Elise Sheppard, had been flung from the distentagrating ship and spaced. All recovery efforts had failed. It was presumed that her body had entered the atmosphere of the rocky planet below and burned up upon re-entry.
It had been 18 months since then, Kaiden and the rest of the crew had been split apart and reassigned all across the Alliance. Just yesterday he had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander, and been treated to a night out by his fellow instructors in the special program he was assigned to. They had wondered at his lack of interest in companionship for the night. How could he tell them that he was in love with a dead woman? With his former commanding officer?
How could he tell them that his Elise, the Alliance’s famous “Command Sheppard,” was his one great love? That losing her had nearly killed him? That the dreams where she was still alive made him want to sleep forever? Sometimes he dreamed even worse dreams. Those dreams were ones were he thought he could hear her dying, running out of precious air long before she hit the atmosphere of the cursed planet below. All he knew was that he didn’t think that he would ever get over Elise.
She had been something else. Magnetic, heroic, charming, dedicated, fearless, and so very loving in their one night together. Kaiden blamed himself for that. His hesitance to engage with a superior officer and break regulations had cost him precious time that they could have had together. Maybe it wouldn’t have amounted to a handful more of days; but even that could have given Kaiden more to hold onto now that she was gone. Clearly, she hadn’t let their relationship cloud her mind. She had ordered him to help with the evacuation, and it seemed like that last pod wouldn’t have gotten away if he hadn’t been there to help.
Kaiden rolled over in bed and looked at a picture of the crew that he had. They were standing shoulder to hip in it. Not quite touching. Just enough distance for plausible deniability. The picture was taken after the fight at the Citadel. After their first and only night together. Kaiden ran his fingers down her face. She would forever hold his heart, even though she was gone. And he would do his best to hold fast to her legacy, by working his ass off to be the kind of officer she made appear to be so effortless. To be a leader and mentor and all around bad ass. To be able to make the hard decisions when it counted and to never ever fear death, but never seek it either. She’d not forgive him for being a quitter, if there truly was something on the other side and she waited for him there.
Kaiden brushed his fingers over the picture one more time, this time in a more specific pattern. The picture shifted to one of just Elise that he had taken with his omni-tool one day. She was standing in front of the Normandy’s navi console and trying to keep a stern face at a snarky comment that Joker had cracked from the pilot’s chair, but a smile was breaking through. It was one of Kaiden’s favorite memories of her, and it had been fortuitous that he’d snapped the candid shot at just the correct moment. Kaiden brushed his fingers over the picture frame one last time, resetting it to it’s default before rolling over and trying to go back to sleep. He had a class of rowdy biotic recruits to teach in the morning. Duty called.
Nearly two years to the day of the destruction of the Normandy, Kaiden listened with a sinking heart and a growing feeling of betrayal. Commander Sheppard had been spotted alive, and apparently working for the human supremacist terrorist group Cerberus. At the same time, there were rumors of whole outer colonies going missing. All in the same area that Sheppard and Cerberus had been spotted in. The Alliance Admiralty wanted him to catch up to the ship containing this purported Sheppard and find out if she was the real deal. And if she had truly betrayed the Alliance. For the first time in two years Kaiden no longer had to wish Elise was still alive.
Now he had to wish she truly was dead rather than a traitor.