When Liara tested the chocolates that were sent to us, she found that they had been tampered with – so they had all had poison in them, but the package was addressed to me.
Now this is very flattering, but the fact that there was poison in them and there was a Cerberus logo on the back, made me think that Dr Chloe Michel had joined Cerberus just because she was angry at us.
I also thought we’d destroyed Cerberus by simply getting rid of the Headquarters and Kai Leng and The Illusive Man.
I was very clearly wrong.
Liara did some research and found Cerberus had a secret base on Earth in London, taking root there where people would be most vulnerable since that was where the last Reaper attacked, and where we stopped it.
According to her information, they decided to go there because everyone else would be more focused on helping people around the galaxy, that nobody would focus on what was going on behind closed doors, right in front of everybody… right where everything ended.. and a new start began.
They’re planning on taking over London, before heading across the world to get whatever they need for whatever they have planned next.
However, the Alliance is situated in London, and they’re already planning on striking back, with our help.
Ashley Williams is with Admiral Hackett on Earth, alongside James Vega, so we will meet them there.
Tali and Liara already voice that they’re in, and Joker as always is piloting the Normandy.
We wonder if we should gather the others, but with the Alliance, we’ll have more soldiers than we need.
My wife talks to Admiral Hackett and tells him about the chocolates we’d received and about Dr Michel and he is surprised by this, and asks we try and take her alive.
However, I remember that Athena once told me that Miranda Lawson said that they tried interrogating some Cerberus agents before, and their face exploded.
When I told my wife this, after the call had ended, Athena agreed that this may happen, and we need to prepare for anything.
We meet up with James and Ashley on Earth, who don’t make any comments about the fact that these tampered chocolates just happened to be sent two days after our wedding, which both James and Ashley attended, and we had the run-in with the Blue Suns.
They greet us with a salute, and address Athena as ‘Commander Vakarian’ like she always wanted to be addressed from now on.
We run over a plan and Ashley tells us where the base is situated. James tells us that Cerberus still thinks the Alliance still don’t know about them – so we’ll be a surprise.
As we go over the plan that we all pitch in with ideas for, I can’t help but seem to think this is my fault.
I told Dr Michel that she had crossed the line with the gifts, after I had saved her life. I had ignored her calls due to the fact they came at inappropriate times.
If I had handled this differently, maybe she wouldn’t have turned to Cerberus. Maybe she wouldn’t have been captured by Cerberus…
Maybe this all happened because of me.
When we’ve figured out our plan – which consists of me, Liara and Garrus going first, whilst James, Tali and Ashley try a different entrance, we should cover more ground.
When the other’s go to get ready, I pull my wife to one side.
“Garrus, what’s wrong?” She takes my hands, and looks at me with such worry.
“It’s my fault. All of this. Think about it, if I hadn’t had told her to stop with the simple gifts….we wouldn’t be where we are right now.” I tell her.
“Garrus, she started off as a friendly person, but if she’s truly the one behind the tampered chocolates, that counts as an attempted assassination. She was either trying to kill you. We don’t know the full story, but that’s what it looks like.”
“You could have eaten those chocolates too, Athena. But you didn’t. If she gets charged with the assassination of a Commanding Officer, and a Spectre might I add, she’s going to be locked away for a very long time…” I point this out to my wife.
“But if we try to take her in alive, she may not come quietly and may kill herself. There’s a possibility she planned for this, and there are people waiting for us. We’re going to get answers, one way or another.”
My wife scares me, sometimes. She really does.
I fall silent, trying to process this information. She cups my face and I look into her eyes, and she’s smiling; trying to reassure me that everything is going to be okay.
“I love you, Garrus.”
“I love you too. Don’t forget that.”
“We got married two days ago Garrus, that’s literally impossible.” Athena grins and pulls away as Liara calls her name.
About half an hour passes and we start making our way to the Cerberus base.
Athena dons some new armour that I gifted her shortly after the wedding. She got me a new assault rifle and a new sniper scope, as it was also my birthday.
A sign that we knew our work was not over yet, and retirement was not an option at the minute as we were called to help diplomatic matters and help rebuild civilisations after the damage done by the Reapers.
Athena gets to keep the Normandy, it’s officially hers and not owned by the Alliance, a gift for saving the galaxy.
We fight Cerberus soldiers who try to fight us – and we take them down, even when Ashley tells me over the comm line to take them in alive.
These people aren’t listening. They’re Cerberus, they won’t listen.
Not to any alien anyway.
“Athena…” I call out to my wife.
“I’m fine, Garrus. Let’s keep moving.”
Liara looks at me and I look at her with some guilt that this situation is my fault. She shakes her head at me, telling me everything will be alright, and moves on.
We enter a science lab, where a few Cerberus agents try to flee, and Liara throws them against the wall.
As she does this, Dr Michel reveals herself.
“Guns away!” Athena tells us to stand down.
We do as she says, and I step forward to get closer to Dr Michel.
“Congratulations on the wedding, Commander.” There’s a hint of sarcasm in her voice.
Dr Michel looks straight at me.
“How does it feel to be married to a reanimated corpse, Garrus?”
I’m stunned for a second, before she continues talking.
“We could have been something, Garrus. But you just had to come back and ruin things, Commander Vakarian, or rather.. Shepard. This is your fault!”
“My fault!?” Athena exclaims, completely astonished “Cerberus is the one that brought me back to life. Why did you join Cerberus? Cerberus don’t exactly like their staff dating aliens.”
Dr Michel is lost for words, and scrambles for something to say, looking at Athena with all the disgust in the world.
“How is your marriage even legal? You died years ago, you should have stayed dead.”
“If she had stayed dead, than we would be all at the mercy of the Reapers right now, and I know for a fact that you wouldn’t like that, Dr Michel.” I say.
Dr Michel looks at me, her rage turns to silence; smiling like there is nothing wrong at all with anything that is going on.
“Did you get my chocolates?”
So, she did send them.
“They were tampered with.” Liara crosses her arms “They were poisoned.”
She looks genuinely surprised and shocked.
“I didn’t poison them…” She starts panicking.
“The chocolates could have killed me, but more importantly they could have killed my wife – a Spectre, a Commanding Officer…” I tell Dr Michel “That is a very awful crime to commit. You also work for a terrorist organisation. We came to rescue you, so you can face your charges but also leave Cerberus on your own terms.”
“I don’t want to leave!, Cerberus have treated me better than the stupid Council and Alliance ever will!” Dr Michel screeches.
“If you didn’t poison the chocolates and send them to us, who did?” Athena asks.
There’s a small silence, and a door slowly opens. A familiar figure enters the lab – and Liara and Athena recoil in horror.
It’s clear that they still have the blueprints…. It’s my wife’s Clone. Remade.
“Why are you working with a clone of Shepard!?” Liara puts a hand to her head, trying to process what’s going on.
“I am the leader of Cerberus. She’s done her duty, now her time is up.” the Clone states coldly, before raising her gun and shooting Dr Michel in the head, who doesn’t even have the chance to scream.
“Athena… we might be in trouble.” I say to my wife, grabbing her hand, “We don’t know how many Clones could be in this place...”
Athena looks at me fearfully, before turning back to see the Shepard Clone shove the gun in her direction.
“This is my fault.” Athena says, turning away from me. “I’m the one you want. Don’t hurt the others. Just.. let’s talk before you shoot, okay?”
“Athena, no!” Liara and I have the same reaction.
Is it really Athena’s fault? Or is it mine?
Athena died, yes.. but it was Cerberus who brought her back. It was Athena who fell in love with me.
You can’t help falling in love with someone.
We saved Dr Michel’s life… and now she’s dead. Because of us.
Because she was seen as disposable.
Because she was jealous of the love Athena and I have for each other.
Whose fault is it, really?
“What do you want from us?” Athena asks her Clone. “So you chose poison as your weapon, since last time you tried to kill us, bullets didn’t work. But your plan failed, but it brought us here. What do you plan to make us do?”
“You’re going to watch everybody you know and love, die before your very eyes.”
“And how are you going to do that?” I ask, as if I want to know the answer.
We hear sounds of struggle over the comms line, and it sounds like Ashley is hurt.
“Do you want your friends to die?” The Clone asks coldly.
“Garrus… I have to. I have to do what the Clone wants.” Athena says, panicking.
She kisses me, as if it will be our last kiss – and asks for the Clone to stop. I try to grab her, but she walks forward.
We all have our faults, and clearly our biggest one was assuming Cerberus was dead.