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Mass Effect : Ghost in the Machine

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When do you began to lose your humanity?

The moment when your childhood stop? The first time you put a bullet into someone? Or when you only feel emptiness and you’re drowning.

“Have you seen the videos of inside that ugly Collector ship?”

Shepard glared at the pair of expensive Asari across her who became increasingly animated as time went by.

“But the vids made me want to shower twice. I could feel my skin crawling thinking about the hive. Disgusting insects.”

“And those piles of dead bodies.”

“Maybe they're better off that way.”

As the conversation grew, Shepard felt it grew even harder to stop herself staying still. Her palm ached to slap the smug off their faces.

“Are you going to talk to them?”

Shepard glanced up to see an elderly Turian with his eyes narrowed on the chattering ladies who seemed too engrossed to notice the attention. His face was marked with scars. There were an extensive turian markings that usually denote higher hierarchy. He have the posture of a military officer. He looked sharp and alert for his age. There was something familiar in the way he studied her.

“What would that accomplish?”

The turian gave her a long penetrating look. He knew exactly who she was. She touched the shawl that covered her head and the large dark glasses to hide her eyes.

“You could do better than this if you want to be even more inconspicuous,” he scolded gently.

“What give me away?”

“Everyone is an anonymous stranger in the public until the moment you look at them right in the eye. Those who tried hard to hide themselves tend to make people want to look closer.”

“Fair enough,” Shepard pulled her sunglasses off and smiled.

Suddenly the atmosphere around them turned tense. Shepard saw several people gaped at the sight of her. Now she wished she hadn't listened while the turian chuckled when the Asari couple became very quiet. Meanwhile, the taxi drifted over the Presidium and slowly landed to a stop.

“My mistake,” he winked and held out an arm which she accepted as he escorted her out of the taxi. "I didn't expect the first human Spectre was easily recognizable."

“Normally, I am not,” Shepard studied the turian closer as he lead her toward the Citadel Embassies. "I find its disconcerting that you knew who I was and it took me longer to recognize who you are."

“I’ve already knew you by reputation, Commander Shepard. Especially after your last visits to the Citadel and the rumors I’ve heard of your activities in the Terminus System.”

“You are very well-informed, Mr. Vakarian.”

“I might be retired but I still have my own connections," Gaius Vakarian murmured as they drifted to a stop near the sleek entrance."Of course, I have special interest concerning my son.”

Shepard let go of his arm. “I’m sure you have a lot of questions.”

“Maybe but now that I've seen you. I believe I have you to thank for bringing him back home alive.”

She could see the weary look in his eyes. She felt the weight of his gratitude. “Garrus helped me through many impossible situations and saved me many times that I’m forever in debt. We fought against Saren and Sovereign. And now the Collectors.”

“So I've heard. The Reapers. Garrus mentioned them in our last communication.”

Shepard looked at him hesitantly. “I am sorry that he choose to leave C-Sec. Again.”

“The boy held too much anger in him. I knew this place wouldn't be enough for him. But I doubt you want to hear an old man's regrets. And now I am getting late for the meeting with the son I haven't seen in months. I hope we meet again in under better circumstances, Commander Shepard.”

Shepard watched as the elderly Vakarian strode toward a private cab. It occured to her that he might been following her the moment she left Zakera Ward. She walked toward the Asari receptionist who sat up at attention.

“Commander Shepard? Councilor Anderson is waiting for you in his office.”