Shepard Family Stories: Lineage
(Earth, Alliance Command)
Admiral Ashley Williams stands in the middle of the war room, Alliance personnel running about. She clears her throat, "I'd like your attention everyone."
Every face turns to her, causing her to pause for a second. Damn, I am still not use to giving orders. "We have a situation unfolding ladies and gentlemen. A terrorist group is targeting Commander Kaycee Shepard and her family. That would normally not be a huge problem, except they aren't just targeting the Shepards. They are ----"
"What is it?"
"I……I think you need to see this ma'am."
"Put it on the main screens."
The three monitors suddenly change to the Cerberus logo, an eye in the middle of the symbol. A distorted voice sounds over the speakers. I have watched you all patiently, waiting for the proper moment. You all have rebuilt your worlds, reforged your alliances, and now that you all believe that you are safe…..Now, we begin to take it apart before your very eyes. We've already fired the first shot.
The symbol vanishes only to have a picture of Hannah Shepard in a pool of her own blood take its place. Hannah Shepard is only the first casualty of our war against those who took our purpose away, our lives. You all raise the great Commander Shepard up as some sort of paragon, a hero. But you have no idea of the lives she's ruined, the harm she's caused.
The image of Hannah changes to a group of shots: the Presidium, the Ardat-Yakshi Monastery, and the Normandy SR-2. Ashley eyes widen, "My god…..someone get security over to the Alliance Museum. Also get Captain Chellick on the line, tell him to tune into this."
The voice continues on. There is nowhere they can hide, and there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop us. You all treated Cerberus as the enemy during the Reaper War. Most of us were just trying to protect our own families, when the Council and the Alliance turned their backs on us. It's time for you all to feel the pain that we've gone through. I am here to show you that Commander Shepard is as human, as mortal as the rest of us.
"Tell me this isn't broadcasting to the entire galaxy."
"Yes ma'am, Captain Chellick, High Councilor Tevos, and Primarch Victus all report that this broadcast is happening everywhere."
"Tell me that we have forces at the museum by now."
"They're still five minutes out."
Ashley slams her fist on the table in frustration, "Damn it! We have civilians aboard the Normandy."
We are called Tartarus. We will not stop, we will not rest, and we shall prevail. If there is still any doubt in your mind of this fact, allow me to crush the last vestiges of hope from your hearts. Behold…….the might of Hades.
Explosions rock the Presidium, knocking out the video camera. The same happens to the monastery, leveling the structure. Only the Normandy remains untouched. Ashley puts a hand over her mouth in alarm. "Oh….my….god……."
The Normandy SR-2 explodes with the force of a small nuclear device. Super-heated plasma rips through the pristine armor plating, sending a shower of scraps raining down on the city below. When the smoke clears, nothing remains.
Make this easy on yourselves. Give us Shepard. If you do not comply, every twelve hours will result in another attack, each getting progressively worse and worse. Their lives for the lives of millions, the choice is yours. We await your decision.
Kaycee sits in a state of shock, watching the pieces of her old home rain down upon New York. Tears roll in a steady stream down her face. Ayrene's arms wrap tightly around her. "Dad, I know it hurts, but you've got to get up."
"Shhhhhh, I know, I know Dad. I can't believe they went after her too. But I need you to help me out here dad, I'm so close to losing it here. Our entire family needs you on your feet, soldier……..I need you."
Kaycee looks up at her daughter, the tears filling in Ayrene's eyes. "Dad……..Help me."
Ayrene buries her face in her father's shoulder. "I can't do this on my own. I'm not strong enough to do this myself."
Kaycee's eyes refocus as her arms embrace her eldest. "I know sweetie………It's going to be……okay."
Hillary's voice sounds over the speakers, "Pardon me, Captain…..but Admiral Williams is on the line."
"Patch her though."
Ashley's holo-image materializes in front of the pair. "Shepard……I'm……I'm so sorry about Hannah."
"Tell me you have something for us, Ash."
"I'm sorry, skipper……I failed you."
"What are you talking about? What's wrong."
"Among the dead on the Normandy…..Adams, Donnelly, and Diana Allers."
"No…….damn it! What were they doing there?!?"
"They were helping Allers with a piece on the inner workings of the Normandy. She had already interviewed me last week, asking for permission to film aboard the Normandy."
"Son of a…….Ashley, get everyone else under guard…..please….I can't lose any more friends and family."
"I'll do my best skipper. You be careful, people's tensions are going to be running high. You'd never know if they'll turn on you."
"You know better than to ask me that. We're in this together. I'll see you soon, Shepard."
A shuttle begins docking at the prestigious school for gifted children. Three sleek Tartarus soldiers sit aboard, each clad in black and purple armor, a whip strapped to each of their sides. The first one turns to the others, "Is she here?"
"Yes, it's been a very long time since we've seen her."
"She was always called the strongest of us, the end result for the project."
"Subject Zero will certainly be surprised to see us again."
"Shall we start our little reunion?"