-New Arlington Cemetery-
Liara T'Soni-Shepard exits her skycar into the pouring rain, the gunmetal-grey skies blocking out the sun. She wears a simple black dress and carries a bouquet of white flowers from Thessia. The grieving doctor doesn't bother with an umbrella, instead letting the rain wash over her skin, mixing with her tears. She begins her slow walk towards the large group of people crowded underneath a wide awning, when suddenly a hand grips her shoulder reassuringly, and the rain stops. Looking over her shoulder, she finds Garrus holding an umbrella over her, his expression unreadable. He nods to her, his grip speaking volumes as he guides her towards the crowd. As they near the group, Liara notices that nearly everyone has shown up today.
Admiral Ashley Williams, clad in her dress blues, stands alongside Major James Vega along with a small platoon of Alliance men and women. High Chief Wrex, clad in his ceremonial armor, stands with his wife Bakara conversing with Councilor Tevos and Sparatus, his battle-scarred visage glistening from the rain. Nearby Miranda sits with her face in her hands, Kasumi draping an arm around her to console her. Jeff sits close by, his hat pulled down over his eyes, trying to hide the flowing tears visibly rolling down his cheeks, EDI holding his hand gently. As people notice the new arrival, the crowd goes silent. Tali, wearing a black and gold enviro-suit, walks over and gives her an encouraging hug. "Be strong Liara, we're all here for you."
"Thank you Tali, I'm trying. I thought this was to be a small gathering?"
"So many wished to pay their respects, we couldn't turn them away. I figured Katlyn wouldn't want that."
She leads Liara over to a seat at the very front, and takes her seat next to Liara. Garrus takes his place next on the left side of Tali, while Aethyta sits on Liara's right. The doctor finally musters her courage to look ahead, and the sight almost breaks her spirit. A large picture of Katlyn Shepard rests next to an ebony casket, a large "N7" imprinted on the lid. Flowers from every major homeworld surround the casket, from the white glowing roses of Thessia, to the purple lily-like blossoms of Rannoch. Katlyn's brown eyes shine with joy in the portrait, her long dark hair pulled back into a ponytail, a wide beautiful smile on her lips. Tears begin to well up in Liara's eyes as Aethyta clutches Liara's hand tightly, whispering in her ear, "It's going to be alright sweetie."
"She looks so happy."
"Of course she was happy, she had you. You meant more to her than anything."
Tevos walks towards the podium, her silk dress of black and dark green fluttering in the wind. She raises her hands, every head turning to face her. "If you all would be seated, please, we can begin."
As the crowd finds their seats, Tevos clears her throat, "We have gathered here today.....to pay our respects to one woman....without whom, none of us would be here. She united a galaxy, and touched the hearts of every single one of us. I, for one, owed her my life on multiple occasions. I know many of you would like to share a few words. Ms. Lawson, if you'd like to begin?"
Miranda gets unsteadily to her feet, tear tracks glistening on her face, and makes her way to the podium. Looking out at the faces of friends, allies, and family, she begins: "Commander Katlyn Shepard, the name itself inspires loyalty to those who hear it. I never quite understood what people saw in her, until I served under her. She helped others without any thoughts of herself, selflessly throwing herself into the thick of battle just to help a friend. She showed me that it's my actions that define who I am, not my genes. I am infinitely proud to have called her my friend. The galaxy is certainly darker without her light. I........"
She stops suddenly, a gasp and choke of sorrow filling her lungs. Tears begin to flow like a river as she tries to carry on, "I.....will never.....forget what she was to me. I'm sorry....I....can't."
Kasumi walks over to Miranda, who begins breaking down, and leads her back to sit next to Liara as Tali moves towards the podium. "We've all lost someone special in Katlyn: a friend, a leader, a lover, a child, a sister. We all have moments of despair, but there is one thing we have as well.......tomorrow. She wouldn't want us to lose hope."
She turns to the casket, "Kat, I want you to know that your spirit lives on in all of us. May you find the peace you sought in life. All will be well. May your soul forever burn brightly in the night sky. Goodbye Commander, my friend.....my sister.......Kee'lah Selai."
Liara notices that Tali's body stiffens slightly, as she tries to keep her composure. As Tali leaves the podium, Wrex slowly makes his way up, nodding to the picture of Katlyn as he passes. "I'm not gonna say much. In my opinion, we all know what she was...... a hero. She put all her faith in the Krogan people, even though she could have effectively wiped us out. I've never met a more honorable warrior, and never had a truer friend. Fight well Shepard, your name will never be forgotten."
As he passes Liara, he puts a heavy hand on her shoulder, squeezing it gently. He mouths a single word to her........never. Liara gives him a small smile. As person after person give their words of farewell, Liara's mind races at thought that her love had touched so many in such a profound way. A familiar voice jolts her back to reality, "Commander Katlyn Shepard.........."
Garrus stands proudly at the podium, his targeting visor removed. "She was a paragon of virtue, honor, and loyalty. She fought for her friends, for her loved ones, and the spirits help anyone who got in her way. She and I made promise before that final push towards the Reapers........that we meet at the bar, no matter where we were, be it heaven or on Earth. I remember that she told me, that if she didn't make it.....that we should all know, that she's looking down on us....always."
He closes his eyes for a moment, taking a deep breath, regaining his composure. "The galaxy will never be the same without her. Goodbye Kat.......May the spirits help you find the peace you fought so hard for."
Liara realizes that everyone is staring at her after Garrus takes his seat. She takes a deep shuddering breath and gets to her feet. Tali stands next to her, keeping her steady. She passes Liara a small black box, which glows with pale blue lights. As Liara reaches the casket, she places the box on the ground in front of it, and activates her omni-tool. An intricately made hologram of Katlyn materializes above it, her features forever forged in light. The hologram of Katlyn clad in her N7 armor, gives a salute to the crowd. Liara whispers a small prayer to her fallen love. "May the Goddess forever watch over you.....and know that I will love you for all eternity."
She turns back to the crowd, "I know that Katlyn would be beside herself with embarrassment at this. But allow me to thank all of you for being here. It means so much to me that she will be remembered by so many."
She gives a small nod to Ashley, who turns to her marines, "Honor Guard.....forward."
As the marines move forward, Ashley begins to speak, "When can their glory fade? O' the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!"
Wrex, Garrus, Tali, James, EDI, and Samara all take their places around the casket, lifting it and follow the marines towards the large marble headstone. The words on the headstone cause Liara to break down into tears once more.
Commander of the Normandy.
A Sister to us all.
A Beacon of Hope to the Galaxy.
This is in the memory of Katlyn, who was an inspiration to us all. May you find peace my friend.