Miranda Lawson looked at the holopad in her hand. Things were getting bad, she much like the Illusive man, thought that they would have more time but they didn't. After Cerberus recovered Shepard's body the Reapers attacked in full force. No one was prepared for this, rioting, food shortages, decease. All of those things happen within three weeks of their arrival. But that was two years go, two years of war against the Reapers. The raven haired woman looked to the body of Shepard on the table.
He was the only chance the galaxy had but he was far from ready from being woken up. If only they had time, she walked over to him and looked over his body. Orange web like cracks where all over his skin, but those where slowly being healed by his body. This would take months, and she knew it. Looking behind her she could see soldiers and scientists running out of their labs, and evacuation order was given. They where panicking for their own lives and no one could blame them, this was a war that no one was prepared for.
But she did get a message from Anderson asking her and any Cerberus personnel to help with a project that could take out the Reapers. It was the best shot for them and she knew it regardless of her loyalties. Her hand moved onto Shepard's muscular chest, his heartbeat pulsed up her arm. That beat, she didn't want to leave she couldn't. But she had to to save the galaxy, if not for humanity then at least for the survivors. She was torn between her duty, and her mission, she didn't know what to do. The door behind her opened and a dark skinned man in a black uniform walked in.
"Miranda, it's time." he said. "we have to go."
"You go Jacob, I have to stay." she said firmly.
"Miranda, you know as well as I do that the Reapers track life signs. We have already deleted this place from all record's, he'll be safe. If you say he'll most assuredly die along with you."
"But he's the best chance we have, if only we have a bit more time." she tried to say but Jacob grabbed her.
"Miranda listen. We have to go, set the cryo sequence, we will come back for him I promise. After the war is over the new galaxy will need him."
Miranda sighed and nodded, turning to the console she typed in a few keys and a glass dome then covered Shepard. A moment later his body was then covered in ice. Looking at Jacob the two nodded before moving out of the room and to the ships. As the last people got onto the shuttle, the lights powered down one by one, then life support then the mech recharge stations. Only one this was still being powered, a lone cryopod in a lab.
Inside the pod like a reverse sleeping beauty John Shepard waited there for someone to come and save him.
OOOOO year and a half later.
The lights in the lab turned on as a three man team walked in. Two of them in a white and orange armour with the third was in a white and black hexagonal gridded bodysuit. While the two in armour had helmets on, the woman had a breathing mask on. It had been three and a half years since the Reapers, a year and a half before she was forced to leave. She remembered refusing to run, but in the end she froze him and followed Jacob.
Now she had no choice but to resurrect him. Things where getting too out of hand. If anyone could save the galaxy he could.
"Keep an eye out." she ordered.
The two nodded as she walked up to the main controls and activated the thawing possess. The dome over him opened and the ice began to disappear the man groaned as his eyes began to open. He groaned but couldn't see yet as he sat up. Two hands helped up up and off the table, his vision cleared and he could see a beautiful woman. She had long raven black hair and her body looked like it was moulded to perfection. But even in his haze he recognised the emblem on her chest, Cerberus, moving as fast as he could he grabbed her pistol and pushed her back aiming the weapon at her.
"Who are you?" he asked as the two soldiers behind her pointed their weapons at him.
"Shepard clam down, you've been asleep for three years." she said holding her hands up in a non threatening manner. "My name is Miranda Lawson, scientific advisor for Cerberus, or at least what's left of it."
"What do you mean what's left of it." he asked trying to support himself on the pod.
"The Reapers, they attacked four months after the battle of the Citadel." she said with clear anger and fear in her voice. "We managed to stop them, but the galaxy, there's only a couple of million left."
"What?" he asked before he fainted onto the bed dropping the weapon.
Miranda moved up to him and checked his pulse. Feeling it she sighed in relief, she indicated to one of the soldiers to help her. One of them came up and took a hold of his arm, the two the dragged him out. The other soldier moved out in front, the place may have been abandoned but that doesn't mean that there was no one around. Scavengers maybe there to take what they could, those people can be violent. They took the short way to a nearby airlock in the labs where their ship was. Suddenly the point man stopped and held their arm up.
A clatter could be heard, he looked around but it was too dark to see. Turing on their night vision the soldier moved up slowly and carefully moved up to a ledge and looked down. Two Batarian soldier's looked around with lights on. Their armour was mostly red along with a red hand print on their faces. The soldier cursed under their breath before picking up a pen and throwing it. It landed with a loud clatter making the two Batarians move towards the sound fast. The soldier then indicated to the two to move.
Miranda and the other soldier moved as quietly as they could along the balcony to the other side of the labs. They moved passed each rooms slowly trying to make as little noise as possible. If there where two scavengers then they're where likely more. The airlock was not too far now, as they turned gunfire whizzed over their heads. Looking back they saw two humanoid figures firing their weapons at them. The free soldier moved so that the two carrying Shepard could move faster. Aiming soldier opened fire at the humanoids, the rounds impacted the shields as the two focused fire on the soldier. As the soldiers shield was depleted a round hit the helmet blinding this soldier making them take it off.
A brown haired human looked at the scavengers with hate in eyes. She picked up a grenade and threw it at the two. It detonated taking out their shields killing them. Getting up she then followed the other two. The other scavengers must have heard the shots as the sound of quick footsteps met their ears. They needed to hurry, moving around the corridors thy soon found the airlock. Miranda left the carrying of Shepard to the other soldier as she moved up and began to type in a few keys. The door opened and the soldier carrying Shepard went in first, Miranda followed then the brow haired soldier. As soon as she jumped in the door closed and the hissing of the cycle sounded. The ship they where on then detached from the station and took off.
The three rested up against the wall as decontamination cycle activated.
"Hey, guy's cut it a little close why not?" a voice over the comm said.
"Joker not now." Miranda said massaging her forehead.
"I'm just saying. Besides EDI picked up several ships from The Omega Alliance." Joker said over the comm.
"Great." the brown haired soldier muttered. "That means the other Warlords knew about this place."
"But that doesn't mean they know about Shepard." Miranda defended. "Project Lazarus, was highly classified, need to know project. Few people outside the project knew about it, even then the Reapers slaughtered billions. It's doubtful that many people know about it even now." looking down at her hands she knew that there was always the possibility that someone told the Warlords.
She survived, so why not anyone else? The door to the ship opened and Chackwas walked in, she moved over to Shepard's body and did a quick examination of it.
"He seems to be fine." she said. "Let's get him to the med bay."
The soldier who carried him in took the commander's arm over his shoulder and helped him up with Chackwas' help. The two carried him along the neck of the ship to the lift. Getting on it they rode it down to the second floor and carried the commander into the med bay. They layed him down on one of the beds as Miranda came down and looked in through the glass. The soldier left the med-bay as Chackwas began to do a more comprehensive examination of the commander's body.
London was destroyed, but some of it had survived, it survived two devastating world wars, riots and terrorist attacks. But this time it may not get rebuilt. Hyde park was home to over a few hundred people in makeshift housing, much like slums of Africa. While people did live in houses across the city it was agreed they the people needed to be close together so they can be monitored. Not to far away was the Alliance command building which was used as command and control for the survivors on earth, alien or otherwise.
Admiral Hackett looked over the destroyed London with a sigh. There were at least 1 million people on earth over 20 different sectors. That was around 50,000 people per 1 sector, but at least three of them where farming area's making those ones just a few hundred. Life had been hard form them over the passed three and a half years. Rationing, restriction and martial law where all enforced to make sure they'd have a stable way to survive.
"Admiral Hackett sir." said a communication's officer.
"Yes?" he said not looking in the direction of the officer.
"The mission was a success, they're bringing Shepard in now."
Hackett smiled at that. "Finally, someone who can save us from this mess."
With Shepard on the bed Miranda looked tough the glass as a dark brown haired woman came up.
"Miranda," she called walking up next to her. "Why are you looking at him?"
"I'm just, well.. thinking about something Ashley."
"Shepard, he's the perfect human, he just the right amount of gene's for anyone to continue the human race." she stroked her chin. "It might be a good idea for him to have a harem that includes us."
Ashley's face tuned deep red. "WHAT?" she asked out loud. "I have to get into a harem outfit and dance the seven veils for him?"
Miranda turned to her. "I never said any of that."
Ashley's face turned red as she looked away in shame. "I'm not sharing him." she said forcefully.
"It's for the betterment of mankind and everyone. Besides other Warlords have harem's, why shouldn't he?"
Ashley didn't say anything as she looked though the glass. Miranda did have a point, but deep down she didn't want to share the commander with anyone, let alone someone from Cerberus. But then again they did help out more often then not. Few Warlords didn't have harems, times had changed form a more or less civilised galaxy to a techno feudal one filled with corruption and war. Since the Reapers attacked everything had changed, and not just the idea's but the people as well. They where reduced to a feudal like era which technology playing a part.
She sighed and looked at Miranda. The two had the best of enemy's relationship, Miranda, without know knowing Shepard personally fell for him while she was working on him during project Lazarus. She made no secret about her feelings, neither did Ashley who loved him since the chase after Seren. The truth was she saw the logic in what Miranda was saying, but how would John react.
Chackwas then came out of the med-bay and joined the two.
"So how is he?" the two asked at the same time while looking to the doctor.
"Well, for the most part Miranda, you did a good job putting him back together. He's fine, the eeg shows his normal brain patterns from when he was alive. However doing his blood work showed me something that I'm not sure how to explain." she handed Miranda a holopad. "He has nanites in his blood stream."
Miranda said nothing as she looked though the information. "How is this possible?" she finally asked.
"I don't know but the technology seems to be similar to Collector tech."
Ash looked to the doctor in shock. "How? I thought me and my team took out the Collector base."
"You did." Miranda muttered making the soldier look to her. "This was done before the collector base. For some reason they injected him with something, either as an act of rebellion or huskafacation. I think it's safe to assume the we can rule out huskfacation."
"Agreed, he would already be a husk right now. But the nanites however did repair him while he was in cryo. The possess only affects biological tissue not machines, they repaired what you couldn't. They also have seemed to affected his muscular structure, he's stronger before the Normandy blew. Regeneration, sight, reflexes even his genitals have all changed."
At the word genitals the two blushed as they had both seen him under the clothing he wore. But that's when Miranda noticed something on the info she was given.
"Wait, this says' that his sperm has the nanites inside."
"Yes, I did a few tests and it appears that no only if he has sex with someone, no only will he get them pregnant, the nanites will also transfer into the partner's blood. Aside from getting pregnant they will also become like Shepard in terms of the body being stronger. The pregnancy will also last for half the time of a normal human pregnancy, as for other races I don't know. But results show that if he mates with a Quarrian, then that Quarrian will conceive the first human-quarrian hybrid."
Ashley remembered Tali talking on how she admired Shepard, but the way she talked about it, it seemed to Ashley that she loved him. But given that she sat Tali as a sister it didn't matter too much. Just then a hologram of a humanoid EDI appeared on one of her holo pads.
"We'll arrive at earth in 2 hours, I've already alerted medical they'll be ready for the worst when we arrive." she said before disappearing.
"Wonder how he'll react when we get to sector 1." Miranda muttered.
"You and me both." Ashley said as she gently rubbed her left eye tattoo.
Capitan Vakrian looked around the slums as he made his rounds. Looking around he could only imagining the refugee camps during the war, those places where worse then this. Few guards to watch over them, no organization and rampant looting. While human police had to deal with this, the methods used differed from Turrian ways of policing, which where more along the lines military police.
What was left of the London police force had their own way of doing things, granted some things he didn't like but they did get results. They kept the peace, even in this mess. He learned in school that humans tended to be a mix of most of the other races, like someone put a boiling pot of all their skills and made humanity. Like his teacher said, 'Humans may look ugly, but they are smarter and creative then they look'.
The buildings that where around him where around two to three stories high with bridges connecting one street to the other. Some of the more privileged, and xenophobic humans didn't like this change but others did, especially the ones who lived in the countryside. Despite not knowing them too well Garrus could tell that the British where as tough as the stories said they where, probably even more so. Even during the war normal civilians came doubt with whatever they had and fought against the Reapers, well all those who didn't run.
His comm then activated.
"Officer Vakrian?" a female voice came on.
"I'm here Traynor, what's up?" he said.
"I just got word SR3 is in system."
"I'm on my way alert the others." he said running through the street.
"Already on it."
A ship similar to the Normandy landed in a clearing where which was made for ships. A medical transport was waiting for them along with two doctors. The ramp lowered allowing for Chackwas and Ashley to bring Shepard down on a stretcher. They where followed by Joker who was supported by a silver metallic woman, Miranda, three engineers and one soldier. The minimum amount for crew needed for an operation like this.
Chackwas and Ashley brought the commander onto the medical vehicle while Miranda. Joker and the metallic woman got onto a different transport. The vehicles then took off and headed for Alliance command. It didn't take long, as soon as they landed the commander was rushed out on a mobile bed and was taken into Command with Chackwas taking the lead explaining to the doctors what needed to be done. Ashley and Miranda walked into the lobby where Garrus, Tali and Liara waited for them.
"So." Garrus said. "He is alive."
Ashley nodded and looked to the doors where he was taken. "When their done, let's take turns watching over him till he wakes. When he does call the other's, its best if we all explain what has happened."
As joker walked in everyone nodded.
John groaned as his eyes began to open, it was dark where ever he was. A figure with brown hair came into sight. She moved closer to him before binging up her omni-tool sand said something before she closed it. She then moved in closer as his eyes adjusted.
"John can you hear me?" she said.
His eyes now fully adjusted could see Ashley in front of him. His heart raced as he moved fast and embraced her, but gravity brought them both onto the bed. She giggled slightly before embracing him. He then let go of her allowing her to sit back on her chair.
"Oww." he muttered.
"You'll be sore for the next few day's John. How are you feeling?"
"Like my body's been through a meat grinder."
"Well that's not too far from the truth." Ashley said softly.
He a good look at her now, she looked the same, but her hair was down and there was a tattoo of three bars under her eye. The first being long, the second being smaller and the third being the smallest. There was also a scar on the right side of her forehead, but it was only a line little else.
"Ash, what happened? Why the tattoo?" he asked.
She looked at him before looking down at her hand then to the door. "It's a long story. It would be better is everyone is here to tell you."
Just then Garrus walked in, John looked to his Turrian friend. He has changed, the right side of his face was covered in scars but there was no mistaking that face paint.
"Shepard old buddy." he said walking up and holding out his hand which the commander slapped.
"Garrus, still as ugly as ever." John said making the Turrian laugh before he sat down.
Tali came in next who jumped on the commander. "John you're alive."
As she landed on his he sat up in pain. "Tali, please get off."
"Oh..." she said giggling slowly before finding a seat in embarrassment. "Sorry."
Liara was next, as she walked in John noticed that she had an air of experience about her. Unlike the others who wore something similar to what they wore on the Normandy Liara wore a white coat of some kind but with clear metal pieces on. Her face had also been painted with white stripes on her forehead and cheeks. As she walked in she smiled.
"Commander." she said before taking a seat.
Just then two people walked in, one was clearly Joker the other was a metallic woman who helped him to a spare seat. Joker smiled a big smile.
"Commander, long time no see huh?" he said making John's brow rise questionably.
The last one was someone who the commander hadn't seen in a long time, Admrial Hackett who just stood in the doorway.
"Commander welcome back." he said.
"Sir, I'd salute you but." John said looking down at his bed ridden state.
"Don't worry, I'm sure you have questions. Who want's to go first?"
There was an uncomfortable silence for a good few moments before Ashley began to talk.
"John, after the Normandy exploded what do you remember?"
"I remember blacking out, due to a lack of oxygen." he said. "Then waking up to see a raven haired woman."
Ash nodded at that. "The time between those two memories was three and a half years, you where dead for most of that."
"Three and a half years?" he asked stunned. "I was dead for three and a half years?"
"According to the expert, you where dead for at least a year and a bit. But a month after the Normandy exploded the Reapers attacked."
Garrus felt time to take over. "After the Normandy was destroyed the Council, alliance and all governments ignored your warnings. Within a week all your claims where said to be of stress, but that ended a month later when the Reapers attacked. The Battarians where first then the homeworlds, governments where gone in a matter of days."
John couldn't speak as Liara took over. "It wasn't a war it was a slaughter, in the two years we fought we lost billions of people from all races. Hell even the Turrians where no match for them, but using the Archives on Mars we found an old Prothian weapon to use against the Reapers. With whatever we could muster we built the weapon and used it to take out the Reapers."
Joker then spoke up. "The weapon took out all the Reapers from here to kingdom come by using the relays as an amp. Within a few hours they where all dead, gone. We had won."
"But at a terrible price." Tali spoke up. "When the dust cleared there was only a few million of us left from all races. Even the Qurrians, but with the void the governments left, people decided to take over territory for themselves. People generally refer to these people as Warlords."
"Like in the old day's before mass effect technology." Ashley spoke up. "You know kings and quests, swords and sandals, that kind of thing."
John was almost too shocked for words as he lay back on the bed. "Three and a half years?" he muttered. "and all that happened?"
"Yeah…..."Ashley muttered as she stroked her tattoo. "That's not counting the stories we have."
They sat there is silence, a long uncomfortable silence before John decided to speak up. "If all this happened, why do you need me?"
"We need you because you are the only person who can save us." Hackett spoke up. "Shepard, out of everyone we know Cerberus chose you for a reason. They spent billions trying to get you back, for the reason that you stood for something. Not just an idea, but a symbol that people can rally behind, your perfect for the role of Warlord."
"Wait, you brought me back so that I could become a Warlord?"
"Things have been getting out of hand Commander, the other Warlords are at each other's throats, it's only a matter of time before they come for Earth and the rest of us. The galaxy needs unity more then ever, and I can think of no one more qualified then you. Will you do it?"
John just smiled. "Well since you when to all this trouble to bring me back, I'd be a fool not. "I'll become your Warlord." with that everyone just smile as a new chapter began.