Tweet of the Day: A Commitment to Reviewing Short Fiction
Azure, Nos Astra, Illium, A few days after the destruction of the Alpha Relay….
Shepard curled up in a lounge chair, sweatshirt drawn tightly around her. She ignored the buzz of hundreds of shuttles that flew across Illium crowded skies. She loved cities, the buzz, the energy, life compressed into a million shoe boxes all chattering and clattering for attention. Illlium was no different than Vancouver, although now she could look down at the masses below from the balcony of a luxury hotel. Back then, she looked down to the pavement so as not to trip on her own feet, not attract the attention of the predators that hunted in the shadows of great office towers and government buildings. Back then trust was hard to come by. Love, no lust, was fleeting and safety non existent. She trusted the Alliance and they turned their back to her the moment she died.
It all fell apart without you, Commander. Everything you stirred up, the Council just wanted it gone.
And then she made the mistake of trusting the Illusive Man.
We’re at war. No one wants to admit it, but humanity is under attack.
She should have strangled the glowing eyes bastards, but instead did everything he asked. Then she saw the greed in his eyes when the Collector base was within his grasp.
Strength for Cerberus is strength for every human. Cerberus is humanity.
Not to mention betray a friend.
You’re in the presence of a legend, Delen.
And to top it all off, she sentenced hundreds of thousands of batarians to death. And for what? To buy an willfully blind galaxy a few more months to live?
“Siha?” said Thane as he sauntered into the balcony. Thane was like a spring, always ready for action, full of latent energy, one moment deep in quite reflection, the next an explosion of power and motion. He was the perfect predator.
A suicide mission? Yes…a suicide mission would do nicely…I’m dying.
He sat at the edge of the chair. Someone else might look awkward trying to balance their frame in such small space, not Thane, of course.
“Thane, you shouldn’t be here,” she said. The longer they stayed together the harder it would be to say goodbye. She said too many of those to know this one would not be any different.
“I am where you are, siha,” he said
“Yes, and tomorrow I’ll be going back to the Alliance.”
“And the day after that I will be dead,” he countered.
She shot up from the chair, “THANE!”
“Stop it, just stop it, okay?”
“I apologize. I did not want to make this any harder than it should be. I just wanted to say,” he blinked several times, “Thank you. Thank you for giving me a chance to…redeem myself, a chance to reconnect with my son and to…” his deep voice trailed off.
She stepped closer, hands buried deep in the sweatshirt’s pockets, “And to what?”
“To put everything in perspective. I thought I had made peace with my life, with the idea of leaving my body, but now I realized I merely giving up on living. You gave me a reason to live again, if only for a moment.”
She wanted to look away, but the knot of fear twisted harder in the pit of her stomach, fear that if she blinked or looked away he would simply disappear.
“I am so sorry Thane, I never meant to hurt you,” she said through trembling lips.
“Hurt me, siha? On the contrary, you healed an old wound, one that festered for a long time and now, perhaps, I’ll have a chance to heal the wound between my son and I. You gave me that chance, a chance to heal and to move on as we all do, as we all must.”
She buried her head in the crook of his neck. Tears flowed freely for the first time in a long time. He embraced her with steady, firm grip of strong, warm arms.
“What now?” she asked.
“Now, siha, now we live.”