It was a shout of horror. Distress mixed with fear and panic in the subvocals. Hundreds of words could be used to describe the emotions carried in that single cry and it still wouldn't be enough to fully convey the feelings washing through the screamer in that instant.

Nearly a thousand kilometers above them Specialist Traynor's breath stuck in her throat at the noise, she pulled up the commander's live action video feed on her screen but the image was pixelated and broken, unable to make out anything useful.

"Vega! Covering Fire!"

A subtle flicker on another window catches Traynor's attention and she curses, typing out a string of code.

"Mierda! Shepard's down. We need immediate evac! I say again Shepard's Down!"

Fuck! Focus. She finishes another garbage code for Ceberus to fight through, pings off an important vector update to the Alliance ships finally joining them in orbit and carries straight on to the next task.

"Copy that. I'm nearly at the Normandy. Let me throw out the civilians and I'll be right back." The shuttle pilot's voice sounded calm but Traynor knew him well enough to detect the slightest of cracks to the facade.

"Cortez, hold that shuttle! I'm on my way down." There was no attempt by the asari to hide the worry in her voice, but it was smothered by a layer of assured command. "Garrus, you better take care of that Atlas before we get there."

"Working on it Liara!" The rest of the mission passed as a blur. Traynor splitting her attention between the ground team and the multitude of feeds she had to manage, struggling to focus on her job. The klaxon sounded the alert. Medic to shuttle bay. All personnel clear the corridors. Hold the lift.

It was another two hours before Traynor was relieved from her post. The lift doors opening on Deck 3 to reveal the memorial wall was not comforting, neither was the unnatural hush as she rounded the corner. The ground team were still in their armour. James sat on a table, feet on a chair, elbows on knees, chin resting on his fists. Liara propped against a wall. Garrus pacing up and down the length of the med bay, his route the only clear space in the hall as everyone not currently on duty crammed in, staring at the screened off med bay. As time ticked silently by, the whole ship waited with baited breath.


Author's note: Shepard is a colony war hero who wants to be a paragon but got caught in a cycle of renegade actions. This will eventually grow into a Traynor romance but they're not together yet. I didn't have the patience to do a full replay of ME1 & 2 for my Traynor romance so this is the default ME3 story without importing any save files. That means Wreave is in charge of the krogan, half the crew including Thane and Jack died and a whole host of other things that may pop up the further I get into the game. The exception to this is the Arrival DLC. Shepard totally killed those batarians, no use trying to blame it on 'Alliance marines', everyone knows who really did it.

This is a bit of a random start point but it's the earliest scene I've managed to write. Everything else that I've written so far follows on after it. I do have a few loose scenarios from before but I haven't managed to formulate them in my mind properly/fully (most important fact; Shepard shot Mordin because she couldn't trust Wreave and doing so hurt). If I ever manage to do the earlier scenes justice then they might get added at a later date and the story reordered.