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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 1 (c.3)-Family


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Apartment A-1245, Presidium, Citadel, Widow, Serpent Nebula, May 13, 2197

I looked around the room. Oriana and Pasha tucked in a corner, their arms linked. Jack pestered Vega to get out of the kitchen. Miranda and Brynn Taylor talked on the sofa. David Taylor, Brynn and Jacob’s younger son stared up at Utah’s shiny silver chassis while her older sister, Jane engaged Naera in the sort of conversation steep in the deep wisdom that only children can muster.

Almost everyone.

Galeena was on Ker’shan helping the batarians take their world back and Rodan had gone missing in action over a week ago. His chances of survival shrunk with each passing day. Behind enemy lines he faced capture, injury and for a turian that could not consume the local food, starvation.  The there was Helena.

I can’t wear her memory like a talisman. She was a person, whole and full, before I met her and until the day she died. She was…and that is all that really matters.

I cleared my throat. All eyes in the room turned on me, “Ladies, gentlemen and synthetics, thank you for being here today. Now this the part where I say that I not good at speeches–”

“Come on already,”  shouted Jack. The others laughed.

“Right, not good at speeches, blah, blah, blah.  The thing is I’ve been thinking a lot of the past, about events that have,” I glanced a little Naera, “marked all of us, in one way or the other. But one can not dwell in the past, one can only live in the present and work for the future. So,” I took out a handkerchief from my breast pocket, placed it at Miranda’s feet, and bent down on one knee, “without much further ado.”

Miranda’s lips trembled, “Theo…what are you doing?”

I took out the little box from my pocket, “Miranda will you marry me?”

Jane and Naera let out loud twin squeals of delight.

Miranda whispered, “Yesss….”

“What was that?” I asked.

“Oh get up!” I did as ordered, “I said yes, dammit!”

She buried her face on my chest. I held her tight. For the first time in a long time the tears came, unbidden.

Vega raised his glass, “Que vivan los novios!”

Naera rushed forward, “That makes you Titi Miranda, right?”

Miranda looked down at my blue angel of a niece, “I guess so.”

“Excuse me Commander Thompson-Ramos,” said Utah.

I blinked away the tears,”What is it Utah?”

“Message from Ker’shan, it is Major Galeena T’iala. She wished to inform us that they retrieved Group Captain Rodan Quintus. She states that he is malnourished and dehydrated but otherwise functional,” he said.

“Well, I’ll guess we will have to add them list,” I said.

Miranda buried her head back on my shoulder, “Shut up, just….”

“I know, I know…..”


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