Classy renegade Shepard.
Some days, he’s just this kid again. Running fast, hard, on skinny legs, the worst thing in the world shaking down to a narrow-minded question of when he’ll get his next proteins, or if a rival gang’s going to break into Tenth Street territory tomorrow with more backing and bigger guns and, maybe, a krogan. When pain was nothing but a bruise spreading over his cheek, a couple of busted ribs and a bleeding nose, not enough medigel for the backfire from his Kessler. When pride was nothing but a scarlet letter, an R on his shoulder for the Reds.
What a dumb punk.
Somehow, that kid’s in a room full of important strangers who don’t stop to ask themselves what the hell they’re saying, and do they really sound like that? He knows he can’t speak for humanity. He’s seen the worst of it, alongside the best.
Commander Shepard. Always thought you’d be taller. Bigger or something. And nobody knows, or cares, that he spent more than his fair share of nights in the rain in a back alley, sleeping on rooftops, beneath an infinite sky. That he’s too damn small for this. That everybody is.
But some days, he’s not that kid and he never was.
Those are the bad ones.
Hoping that dumb punk’s still in there somewhere, brave, cock-eyed pain in the ass that he was. That no matter how many times you re-knit the fiber of a man’s muscle, you don’t change the boy he’s been. Split lip, split knuckles. Balling his fists up for the fight he can’t win. With an N7 on his chest and a heart beating under.
Running fast. Split lip. Busted ribs. Some things—some dumb punks—never change.
Hey, at least, this time…
This time, he’s got the krogan.
BlackShep is best shep.
“Don’t make me laugh, damn it. My face is barely holding together as it is.”