Part 3, Chapter 2 of Valkyrie

Shepard felt warm.

It wasn’t the unpleasant warm of a stuffy ship, but a wonderful sort of warm. She didn’t open her eyes, and why would she? It was so pleasant here, comfortable, free of aches, with this delicious sense of joy and contentment. It was if everything she had ever longed for in life was fulfilled by just being . She didn’t think she would ever get enough of this. If she had to compare it to something, she thought that she would probably liken it to a mountain meadow, or a sandy beach with the sun shining down and a cool breeze.

She lay there, smiling into the light, dimly aware of people around her: lots of people that she liked and loved. She couldn’t remember who they all were or how long she’d been like this, but it was too wonderful to care.

Then, suddenly, her whole body hurt.

The pain was incredible, ripping along every muscle. She gasped and half sat up. Instead of a beach or a meadow, she saw bright lights, metal and glass, and her own arms, filled with needles and tubes.

What the hell?

“My God, Miranda,” a voice said. “She’s waking up.”

Waking up? Shepard blinked, suddenly aware of her eyes. They felt dry and sticky, and the light was hurting them.

“Give her the sedative – now,” a voice said.

Sedative? No way.

Shepard was completely disoriented, but she had always been quick to adapt. If someone had her pinned to a bed and sedated, then that fell under the heading of ‘Very Bad Shit.’ In her personal reckoning of things, this was a shoot first, ask questions later sort of situation.

She reached for her gun. No gun. She gathered her biotic energy – and screamed.

The force of her own power caught her completely off guard. She had been tensing for a pulse of energy, and instead had ripped apart her own arm. She gasped in agony as the skin split open. Her head was pounding. She felt as though she had thought to turn on a faucet and switched on a fire hose.

What the hell had they done to her biotics?

What the hell had they done to her ?

“She’s going into shock,” a voice said.

No shit , she thought, her heart racing. Who the hell were these people and how had they managed to completely mess with her biotics? This was no amp upgrade. This was a complete implant overhaul. She could feel the energy now, rushing through her body as though on cables, not wires.

“Give her another dose,” a woman’s voice said. “Shepard, lie still.”

Shepard had never had much of a tolerance for medication, and she could feel herself falling under immediately. A face hovered into view just as the meds hit. It was a pretty face, a concerned face. Then it hardened as the woman turned to yell over her shoulder. Shepard didn’t catch what was said.

As her eyes closed, she felt a cool breeze, sensed the light around her again. It was calming after that episode. She relaxed and rested in it.

“What was that all about, skipper?” someone asked her.

“Not sure,” she murmured. “Must have dozed off there. Hope I don’t have that dream again.”