A/N: I am in the process of rewriting the original story and breaking it up a little differently. So even if you have read the story before, please check it out again and see what you think.

This is the story of my Shepard from her perspective as well as an overview of the story on the whole. This will jump back and forth between first person and third person omnipresent. Personally I think the calm way in which Shepard seemed to have accepted her death and rebirth was way to calm. I don't see how there cannot be consequences for bringing someone back to life, whether those consequences are emotional, psychological, physical or all of the above, there will be consequences.

As usual I do not have a beta, so any and all feedback is greatly appreciated and love. Please do not feel that I will take things wrong, anytime I remove something after someone reviews it is because there was something there that struck me that needed to be changed and the reviewer just reinforced my thoughts on it. I love all comments and constructive criticism.

As always, Bioware owns the Mass Effect Universe, I just like to play with their toys from time to time.

No one ever asked me my opinion; I was never asked if I wanted to be a soldier or something else. My father was a marine, my mother a naval officer, so it was expected that their only child would follow in their footsteps. So at the ripe old age of eighteen I enlisted with the Alliance Military, completed basic at the top of my class, but hey what else would be expected from the daughter of Major John Shepard and Captain Hannah Shepard. Special Forces training followed basic, of course it would, Caera Shepard couldn't just be a grunt now could she. I flew through the ranks of N training, gaining the rank of N7 very quickly, joining the ranks of only a handful of Marines, hell even my father wasn't an N7. My career was solid through all of that up until 2177 when my squad of fifty fellow marines was sent to Akuze to investigate the lack of communications from the colony there. We found nothing there, the colonists were just gone. We were wrong, so very wrong, when night came and we settled in for the night waiting for pick up the next day they attacked. Thresher Maws are ugly from a distance, but up close they are downright terrifying. All I remember from that night is the sound of gunfire and the screams as forty-nine marines died on that planet, after all the colonists that had died before we arrived. It seemed that we had placed the colony right on top of a Thresher Maw nest. I managed to survive that encounter with only a few visible scars. The screams of my team will forever haunt my dreams, my nights constantly broken up by the sounds of gunfire and screams.

Oh did I mention I'm a biotic to, apparently didn't get much say in that either, I'm a Vanguard, a cross between a soldier and a biotic. Some hybrid I do have to say, as I can take and deal out a good bit of punishment. It's the only way I can atone for those deaths. They pinned a medal on my chest and called me a hero, I should have died with those men, hell I should have died instead of those men.

No one ever asked if I wanted to become a Spectre either. Should have figured something was up when Nihlus showed up on the Normandy for a shakedown run, on top of that I damned near couldn't go to the head without him being right there, drove me absolutely bugshit. I mean hell why can't I just be a grunt, a ground pounder, quiet career until something takes my head off or I retire with a weak pension and joints that quit working properly years ago, but no, Caera Shepard is the hero, the poster girl for the Alliance. Fuck them all, I never asked for it. I never asked to be force fed a genetic lifetime of a species that had been extinct for fifty thousand years either, guess someone missed that memo as well.

So we arrived at Eden Prime just in time to see the Geth attacking the planet. I hit the surface with Lieutenant Kaidan Alenko – a fellow Biotic – and Corporal Jenkins. It was like walking through one of those old twentieth century sci-fi/horror vids, where the aliens were always out to get humanity. There was death and destruction everywhere. Corporal Jenkins was from Eden Prime, so I think it hit him the hardest. Not that it had that much time to sink in, as no sooner than we turned the first corner from our LZ than he was gunned down by a group of Geth drones. You want to know something, no matter how many times you lose someone under your command, it never gets easy, and it never quits hurting. I could only hope that maybe Corporal Jenkins family had been spared the massacre and we would be able to return him home.

Lieutenant Alenko and I made our way further into the colony; we fought a few more drones, when we finally came across our first survivor, Chief Gunnery Officer Ashley Williams. Now there is a soldier, that girl has no fear what so ever. That was also where we saw the first of the 'Dragon's Teeth'. Huge spikes the Geth were using to impale captured colonists and marines on. Talk about nightmare stuff, there you go right there. Watching them put these living people on these five meter spikes, by Odin why would any species think to do something so horrible. After more fighting, and finding a few more surviving colonists, we finally found what we were after, the Prothean Beacon. Should have stayed the hell away from that thing, or should I say Lieutenant Alenko should have stayed the hell away from that thing. Now don't get me wrong, I don't blame him one bit for what happened at the Beacon, none of us were Prothean experts. We were just soldiers doing our jobs, a job that ended up with me unconscious and dreaming about ancient civilizations and the sentient machines that destroyed them.

Well I finally woke up after what the Doc told me had been fifteen hours. Alenko was right there too, that was a surprise, though not an unpleasant one. He has the warmest eyes I've ever seen. When Captain Anderson showed up – oh did I mention that Nihlus had been killed by another Turian Spectre named Saren - anyway apparently Captain Anderson and this Saren have some history, and it's unpleasant. I can't believe he actually wants me to tell the Council about the nightmare the beacon downloaded into my brain. It's not like the Alliance doesn't already question my sanity considering my record, now my mentor, the man who has treated me better than my own parents did, wants me to prove to them that I am insane by telling about these nightmares.

So no matter what I wanted, I ended up a Spectre with an entire extinct civilization rattling around in my head, in command of a prototype new Alliance warship with a team of misfits. Hell at least most of them were like me and here because that's where you end up when you do the right things.

It took us a little over a year to put Saren down, finding out as well during that time that hey, Saren really isn't the bad guy there's the sentient machines called the reapers who show up every fifty thousand or so years and wipe out all life in the galaxy, but hey who wants to hear that. Even after you save the Galaxy and the Council from annihilation.

There was a good thing to come from the time taking down Saren and Soveriegn. I met Kaidan Alenko, a fellow marine and biotic, he was a sentinel, and was really surprised to find that despite me being a vanguard I was somewhat of a tech head. We hit it off really well, we talked a lot, not sure when it happened but sometime during that year we fell in love. We never said the words but in the couple months after we helped destroy Saren, Soveriegn and the Geth at the Battle of the Citadel, we did everything we could to show each other. Maybe I should have said the words, maybe my last words to him shouldn't have been an order but 'I love you'. My death wasn't my choice either. Joker is the best damned pilot in the Alliance, but he is about as stubborn as an ass, and I mean both kinds of asses. I managed to get him into an escape pod, but it was too late for me, an explosion threw me against a bulkhead, shattering the connections on the back of my hard suit. I barely managed to hit the button to get Joker off the ship before the fear and panic set in. They say it takes ninety seconds to die from vacuum exposure. It sure as hell seemed like the longest ninety seconds of my life and I can remember every detail. The pain caused by the damage done when the explosion threw me against the bulkhead, the light headedness from the lack of oxygen, the numbness in my limbs from the cold. My last thoughts were my own though, my only regret, not telling Kaidan I love him.