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Mass Effect: Mirrored Souls


Tweet of the Day: Writing Excuses 7.33 Authentic Emotions

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Jon Grissom Academy, Petra Nebula, Vetus, March 4, 2187

Miranda looked around the small room. She focused on the details.  Pictures plastered on a wall, full of young smiling faces with captions such as, “To my favorite psychotic biotic” or “Best teacher ever!”  A dark studded leather jacket draped over a chair or the tiny desk by the door. She looked at everything except the one thing that mattered, the reason she had come to Grissom Academy.

Jack.

Jack crossed tattooed arms across her chest, “Listen cheerleader, I don’t have all the time in the world. The only reason I haven’t spaced you yet is because Shepard asked me not to, nicely. So what do you want?”

Miranda thought she knew what she wanted. She had rehearsed her speech a hundred times on the shuttle.

“I….”

“Spit it the fuck out,” said Jack.

Miranda turned her back on Jack. She leaned on the prefab desk.

“I wanted to….” something boiled in the pit of her stomach. Bile crawled up her throat. A blue aura enveloped her. She slammed a biotic fist on the desktop. It cracked in two.

“What the fuck? That’s my desk!” yelled Jack.

The words tumbled out of Miranda’s mouth, “I’m sorry damn it!’ I am sorry for everything, Jack: for being such a cold hearted bitch, for saying you were a mistake. I’m sorry.”

“Pfft! That’s it?”

Miranda’s chest heaved with each long breath. Memories flooded her mind, memories of their trip to Pragia. Her breathing slowed.

“I had a desk like this, once,” she said

“So?”

“I used to write stories on it. All of them about Father and I walking on the beach, just the two of us. The pathetic little dreams of a lonely girl.”

Jack leaned back against the wall, “Wait, you came here to sort out your daddy issues? Ain’t that precious? Listen princess, I ain’t a shrink, okay? You want to talk to someone about how daddy didn’t love you, call Shepard. He is good at that shit, not me.”

“I ran from my father straight into the Illusive Man arms. I believed his bullshit about my importance and about working for the ‘future of humanity’. A future written in blood.”

“I could have told you that.”

“I should have seen it, Cerberus offer to protect my sister, my rise though the ranks, the Lazarus Project. It was all a lie.”

“Preaching to the choir, princess.”

Miranda turned around, her eyes brimmed with tears, “You did and I hated you for it. Me, the obedient little soldier. He said jump and I said how high. How do you do it?”

Jack tilted her head, “Do what?”

“Fight. Despite all the things you gone through, you fought back. You fought your way out of the Teltin facility, out of Purgatory. How the hell did you do that?” Miranda shook her head. “Forget it; I wasted enough of your time with my whining.” Miranda walked to the door. The door slid open.

“Hey, listen, “Miranda,” Miranda stopped at the threshold, “I’m…I’m not good at the mushy stuff, and I ain’t saying I’m accepting your lame apologies or nothing, but anybody that told the Illusive Man to fuck off right when he thought he had won ain’t all bad.”

Miranda blinked. Tears slid down her cheeks.

“Hold the waterworks, okay? All I’m saying is that apologizing ain’t good enough. You got to do something about it. Do something right. I mean, look at me, a goddamn teacher. So stop your bitching and do something right for a change.”

Miranda nodded, “My sister is planning on rebuilding Sanctuary and she wants my help.”

“That place for refugees during the war?”

“Yes. My father lured thousands to Horizon and turned them into husks so he could find a way to control Reaper forces. The bastard.”

“Fuck! And what happened?”

“He made the mistake of kidnapping Oriana. I chased down some leads and confronted him. I almost had him until Kai Leng showed up.”

“Yeah, and?”

“He would have killed me if Shepard hadn’t showed up.”

Jack leaned forward, “Got to love the boy scout. So what happened next?”

“Kai Leng ran and left us to the mercy of the Reapers. Father decided to take Oriana hostage and bargain his way out. Shepard agreed. I did not.”

“You killed him?”

“Yes.”

“He got what he deserved and all is right with the universe. God, I’m a sucker for happy endings,” said Jack.

“Guess so.”

“You know your sister’s plan doesn’t sound half bad. Not like that nut case Aresh in Pragia. A lot of folks looking for a fresh start these days, you know. Turn something bad into good.”

“Sounds like a start,” said Miranda.

“Good. You know, I’m not saying we are going to hug it out or anything, but if you ever need to, you know, talk, or something, like for five minutes or so, ’cause I’m busy with the kids and all, well, you know.”

“Thanks Jack,” said Miranda. She looked down at the broken desk, “I’ll get you another one.”

“Nah, the Alliance buys them by the dozen anyway. Not the first one I have broken.”

“You need a new desk and I’ll get you one, a nice one. Besides, it is time for me to do something nice for a change.”

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