Shepard rubbed his eyes, more out of habit than actual eyestrain. He didn't like to overthink the amount of cybernetics in his system, but he was fairly certain his eyeballs were less than 100% original.
The motion didn't help much anyways. Colonies were still being abducted and they were still preparing to take the fight through the Omega-4 relay. He took a sip of Gardner's abysmal coffee and winced. EDI and the tech crew were working overtime trying to figure out the Reaper IFF system and...
"Shepard, Legion is requesting permission to speak with you in your quarters." EDI's voice startled him out of his thoughts.
"...Sure, EDI. Thanks." Shepard blinked. "Well. That's new." he muttered to himself as the door slid open.
Legion was a gestalt consciousness of over 1000 unique programs. 95% of those programs had volunteered for the experimental observation platform because of a shared, and profound desire to track and meet John Shepard, Commander. The remaining 5% had been cajoled into consensus because they were interested in getting the hell off of Rannoch.
Since being allowed to officially join the crew of the Normandy, since *meeting* Shepard-Commander, Legion had been in the throes of a positive feedback loop the likes of which they had never experienced before.
Certainly, there were moments aboard ship that were suboptimal, for instance, EDI refusing direct communication, Creator Tali'Zorah's clear discomfort, Crewman Gardner's incessant and perplexing "jokes" about Legion's illicit love affair with the coffeemaker. (this last one caused no end of confusion to Legion's consensus. The coffeemaker was a blithering idiot that could barely be counted as a primitive pocket calcuator.)
But Shepard's acceptance, Shepard's *friendship*, was so far out of expected mission parameters that it made Legion a tad... giddy.
In a fit of goodwill, the consensus even finally let the 213 programs who determined their mission to be a total failure (after finding the ruined remains of Shepard's armour on Alcheta) out of "the subroutine of shame".
Recently, 372 programs tasked with monitoring and catalouging Shepard's physical statistics had verbally compared notes with EDI and had come to the inescapable conclusion the Commander was suffering some sort of distress.
There was, of course, a great debate as Legion exited the lift. While there was a majority in favour of assistance, the best approach to rendering it was unclear. Until a small, but vocal minority of programs, many of which had endured too many cycles in the subroutine of shame, pointed out that if they couldn't get past "hopeless" on the organic relationship simulator, then how could they possibly manage with an actual organic.
Unfortunately for them, the rest of the consensus latched onto this as the perfect opening gambit.
"Shepard-Commander, you are no doubt aware that EDI has granted us extranet access." Legion's faceplates flexed in a hopeful manner, rewarded when Shepard nodded.
"She keeps me up to date. And I heard about your unsportsmanlike conduct in Galaxy of Fantasy." Shepard's face twitched in what Legion flagged as a smile- and an indicator of amusment."Taunting?"
"We found our party to be inefficient compared to our interactions with Shepard-Commander and the rest of the Normandy's strike teams. " Legion fidgeted. "We are lacking in our understanding of many organic behaviours, and had seen other players perform simulated sexual actions on their foes. We were only emulating them."
"You humped them?" Shepard's eyebrows lifted and the corners of his mouth twitched again, ever so slightly. Legion's positive feedback loop increased by a percentage, and the platform straightened on the couch. "Legion.. humping people is rude."
"We are attempting to play another organic game, Shepard-Commander, to help us better understand our companions. We are finding it... difficult." Legion fidgeted it's fingers. "We understand that you are busy with preparations, but we have been informed that entertainment may assist in stress relief and.."
Shepard smiled, fully, and there was what may have been a digital squeal from somewhere in the 1,183 programs that made up Legion's operating system. Faceplates flexed in positive reinforcement as Shepard patted Legion's hand. [Operation showing early signs of success. Excellent. Reviewing decision tree]
"Ah. Fleet and Flotilla." Shepard coughed, clearly amused, as EDI booted the game up on the big screen in his quarters. "You should talk to Garrus. He loves the vid."
"We will flag for future conversational options with Vakarian/Garrus." Legion said as the character creator screen came up. "Fleet and Flotilla allows for many varieties of cross-species interaction, aside from the default Turian/Creator option. As there is no option to play as Geth, we have tried several combinations in an attempt to emotionally engage the character of the human freighter captain."
"Well, let's see you play, and I'll... offer what advice I can give." Shepard sighed. "Although, I'm not exactly an expert on 'emotional engagement' most of the time."
"Error. We have observed what we have flagged as 'deep emotional attachment' towards Shepard-Commander from every organic on this ship." Legion pondered as it created a new character. "And we have observed physical interaction involving sharing of bodily fluids between Shepard-Commander and variously, Massani/Zaeed and Krios/Thane that would have garnered at least one party several poor conduct warnings in 'Galaxy of Fantasy' for 'humping'."
Shepard's eyebrows flattened, and Legion's faceplates scrunched togther in distress. "It's not unsportsmanlike conduct amongst consenting parties." He said, taking a deep breath. "Also, there's a line between observing and.. being inappropriate Legion. Don't.. just don't do that again, ok?"
"We understand, Shepard-Commander, and apologise." Legion's monitoring systems noted the tension slowly recede from Shepard's shoulders. After a moment, Shepard's head tilted slightly [Puzzlement], then he frowned a bit. [Not anger, more puzzlement]
"Legion... that hole in your chest. I know you said it didn't cause you any pain, but it seems like it could put you at risk. Maybe we can find something to patch it with?" He asked, gently resting his hand against it. "Even if it's just an extra chestplate from the armoury."
The "Fleet and Flotilla" theme playing in the background, a number of programs scanned the volumes of human literature that EDI had given them access to, and promptly came to a consensus as to an immediate and proper course of action. They commandeered the platform vocal simulators and blurted out "We understand there is a human saying 'to kiss and make better' - we admit, we do not understand the efficacy of this cure, but would be open to exploring the possibility."
The 372 programs tasked with monitoring Shepard's physical statistics sent out a system wide alert message as the Commander blinked, sat back and blushed. He was then caught somewhere between his eyebrows flattening in a frown and the corners of his lips curling. "Uhm. So, Legion.." He said, but the Geth was already on it's feet. The positive feedback loop picked up an undercurrent of what could only be called irrational panic
"NO DATA." It said, promptly consigning the instigators to the subroutine of shame and marched towards the door. "We apologise, Shepard-Commander, but we must return to the AI core for maintenance. Thank you for your assistance." It said without turning it's optics back.
Immediately, 213 programs said "we told you so." and Legion decided perhaps it would find another way to show concern for Shepard.
Maybe it would start by talking to the coffeemaker.