The geth was not sure why they had picked Shepard Commander’s armor to patch the hole. Because, as she had said, there had been little reason to. If it had been required there had been other resources available sooner. There was also resources better qualified for fixing the platform. But the geth had used the destroyed N7 armor. There was no data to support the action. When the geth had said as much, Shepard Commander had first looked confused before she gave him a smile. It was a bit of a peculiar smile that as the geth analyzed it, found she did not smile as such very often.
“That’s sort of cute,” she said before her omni-tool dinged and she sighed. “And thus I am called. Be good,” she said as she turned and left. Legion, as she had named the platform, watched her go. The panels along the camera sliding as her words were processed. It was an accepted consensus that it wasn’t an order. Though it was a hard earned consensus. As became the usual when trying to understand Shepard Commander.
Legion found that they seemed to be drawn to her. During battles, no matter what consensus said- which taking in previous data and Shepard Commanders obvious skill and power along with the support of her comrades- Legion found they constantly were checking on her. Organics had a way of proving data wrong. Usually in the sense of living when all the data said that they should die. Or able to do something when data said they could not. But if that could happen that they could also fail when all the data said they should succeed.
She did not notice. Yet she was attentive to them. Legion had taken hits and Shepard Commander always made sure he was alright before continuing. She was attentive to all her comrades. Of course. But that she was attentive to a geth did not match data on previous organics. Not much Shepard Commander did seemed to match with known data. Legion attempted to explain that the platform did not feel pain and there was no reason for Shepard Commander to worry.
It did stop her from doing so. Irrational behavior. And yet Legion found her attention did not bother him. Legion found that they in fact returned such attention. Especially when she was joyous or depressed. Her smile dominated their attention. Her company was preferred. Legion did not understand why. Legion was unsure how they had come to such a consensus.
On a day when they had taken to walking the Normandy for new stimulus, Legion found a new question for Shepard Commander. They were walking out of the med bay as she was sitting with Garrus Vakarian. “Seriously Shepard,” the turian said.
“All they need is a little love,” she said in return, smiling. Legion analyzed pitch and tone, her expression. Teasing, or a joke.
“That’s all it takes to tame the untamable and make friends with the enemy huh?”
“Respect helps too,” she said with a smirk and a shrug. Garrus Vakarian shook his head.
“You sleeping tonight, Shepard?”
“Maybe. If I get this done,” she said, looking down at the datapad as she reached for her cup. “It’s so interesting, you know. I just got to know how it ends.” Sarcasm, Legion thought.
Garrus shook his head, reaching and snatching the datapad. “Good night, Shepard.”
She reached for the datapad at first, before slouching back in the chair. “Hey Garrus?” He glanced back. “Sweet dreams.” That’s when she saw him and her smile changed. Legion was still categorizing all her smiles. Garrus nodded to them as he passed. Legion copied the action before walking towards her.
“Shepard Commander,” he said.
“Funny to see you out and about, Legion. What can I do for you? I’ve apparently got a bedtime now so I won’t be around the rest of the night.”
“We are curious as to what love is.”
Her arms slid off the back of the chair and she straightened. “Well that’s sort of a funny question. Why do you want to know?”
Legion stopped, sifting through data before turning back to her, the panels along the camera shifting.
“Are you curious? Or, perhaps, something you’ve seen doesn’t make sense?”
“Right.” She stood and carried her cup towards the sink. “So, love.”
“We have found many definitions.”
“It’s not something normally categorized or defined. It’s a feeling. A hundred feelings.” She rinsed out the cup.
“We do not understand.”
Shepard turned and leaned back against the counter. “Of course.” She blew at the hair in her face. “Love is seen more in actions and attitude then in some book full of definitions. Love can be heard in the special way somebody says your name. Or when you’re dead tired but they can make you happy anyway. Love is when you’ve been through everything together and you’re a little old but there is nobody else you’d rather be in that rocking chair beside you. It’s like, when your dog is so happy to see you every day, even though you have to leave them alone in the house to go work. It’s when you don’t ever want to see them stop being happy, but those times when they have to be something else you’re determined to be there for support.”
Legion processed what she said, glancing away for the single moment, data analyzed quickly. “We still do not understand.”
She smiled, stepping forward. “It’s okay Legion. Most don’t. Even those that are in love sometimes can’t explain it. Love just is.”
Legion archived everything. All experiences were kept and logged. Irrationally he felt that this one was important however. It was forty-three days after that when she handed herself over to the Alliance. She had saluted him when he had left, again telling him to ‘be good’. Legion watched the Normandy leave before turning and beginning his trip back across the Veil. They did not feel, they did not have emotions. Yet somehow Legion found the trip to be cumbersome and they found themselves looking towards Earth sometimes. It did not make sense.
It was not hard to reach a consensus with the rest of the geth to combat the Reapers since Shepard Commander destroyed the heretics. The geth began building a mega-structure to aid Shepard Commander in her war. It was then the Creators attacked. The bombing and assault pushing them back. The idea of annihilation pushed most geth to accepting the help of the Reapers. Legion was used to broadcast the Reapers signal and the upgrade.
They were not shocked when Shepard Commander appeared, aghast at finding them in such a position. Legion was unsure why it made him feel lighter to see her. Irrational, they thought. Shepard Commander was quick to release him, struggling through the heretics. Then she was there with them, helping them out of the system. She smiled and their panels rose. It did not take long for everything to begin exploding around her. The Creators were attacking the dreadnought. Shepard Commander cursed and spit as she led them through the explosions and back to the Normandy.
Legion found the upgrades to the Normandy to be satisfactory. Garrus Vakarian was present as was Creator Tali'Zorah. And Shepard Commander. She was especially busy with the Creators and the Reapers. Earth was being destroyed. Legion kept checking the data on it. It was rational to do so. It was where the Reapers hit first. Palaven a close second and Legion was also keeping tabs on the turian homeworld. But Earth felt special, for lack of a better word. Legion did not understand.
They watched as Shepard Commander ran herself ragged in an effort to stop the war between the geth and the Creators. She was so angry at the Creators. For attacking the dreadnought with her crew inside. For starting the entire war when the Reapers had come. Legion searched but could not find a clip of her that angry. Legion found her anger disruptive to their processing. She continued to save everybody she could and Legion processed the percentage of Creators and geth she’d be likely to save. They decided not to inform her of the number. Shepard Commander never much cared for such things as ‘chances’ anyway, considering her history.
Shepard Commander went out of her way still to aid the Creators and the geth. That she agreed so readily to their plan to destroy the server was not in their calculations. Even with the Reapers upgrade to their system Legion found Commander Shepard still impossible to lock down with numbers and data. Creator Tali'Zorah was not as happy over their plan. “You can’t be serious Shepard,” she said.
“How can I say no? How many people get an offer like this? And you only live once right?”
“You of all people don’t have the right to say that,” Creator Tali'Zorah said.
“So I’ve been told,” Shepard Commander said as she hoisted herself up into the machine with a grin. Legion turned to the console and Creator Tali'Zorah paced. Garrus Vakarian stared up at Shepard Commander, mandibles twitching. Shepard Commander smiled and fidgeted until they told her to stop a third time.
Then she was apart of the server and Legion struggled with it. More so than Shepard Commander did. The engineer in her was always fascinated by the geth. She was amazed with the server and a flurry of emotions. She was the only organic Legion knew of to join the server. To become apart of the data. To join with the geth in even the loosest of senses. She did not understand, perhaps, what the meant. But Legion could feel her.
Legion did not know what to do with this. Legion knew, statistically, what was pretty to organics. They knew, chemically, what emotions were. But suddenly Shepard Commander was in the server and Legion could feel her. And she was beautiful. Legion was able to feel. And they felt the experience, no matter how minimally, of what organics felt. They brushed against her as she traveled along towards the data she came for. She was strong, a wall against them. Bright and unnatural. Or, perhaps it was them that was unnatural. But she did not reject their light brushes, did not push them away. They thought of her smiles and her struggles. They thought about all they had done.
It was, as she was staring at the last memory, the one of them, Legion realized it had been a very long time before they had reached consensus in the platform. Three hundred and twenty two days. Legion searched the data for answers as Shepard Commander made her way back to the terminal. Legion did not want her to leave, they realized as she climbed the steps they had made for her. Legion thought back to the conversation they had before she returned to Earth.
Legion realized there was much to analyze and discover.
It did not make sense until Shepard Commander ordered them to run while she remained. While she faced the Reaper on Rannoch. Upon analyzing themselves, Legion accepted that they were experiencing fear of sort. A different type of fear than when the Creators had pushed them back. Nearly destroyed them all. A fear that wasn’t statistical. But this was Shepard Commander and she had ordered them to continue. Legion used the time to finally reach a conclusion.
Legion no longer was a ‘we’. Legion was an identity. Legion was an individual. And he was pleased when Shepard stood victorious against the Reaper. He was relieved that she was alive. That she was safe. And yet, he knew what he needed to do for the geth. And he knew Creator Tali'Zorah would not approve.
“You can’t let him Shepard!”
Legion glanced at Shepard Commander, and she stared back at him. “Honestly, I’m so fucking tired of this whole damn shitstorm you quarians created. That I’m stuck cleaning up,” she snarled at Creator Tali'Zorah, who stepped back. Shepard Commander then pulled up her omni-tool. She was going to attempt to broker peace, Legion realized. He glanced at Creator Tali'Zorah who for a minute watched. And then she too attempted to help. Legion felt a surge of something he did not know what to call. Did not have the time to analyze and decide on.
Then, somehow, Shepard Commander did it. She had the quarians pulling back. Legion stared at her while Creator Tali’Zorah held a hand to her chest in relief. Legion wanted to tell Shepard Commander all he had experienced. He thought, perhaps, she would understand the most. He wanted her to understand. Legion still did not know what love was. He did not know if he could experience such a thing. But he thought that, if he could, it would have been with Shepard Commander.