It had been so very long since the idyllic sunrise of home had greeted him. The warm beams soothed the many aches, burns, scrapes and holes he had come to wear in the life of a soldier. Even his armor now felt weightless as he rose from his back to gaze out over the rolling hills that had become his spot.
So where was this place that his weighted helmet had come to fall? It was not Mindor, the home among the stars he had known so long ago. He’d watched the colony burn, its citizens captured or brutalized by pirates and slavers. And the fire that had sparked in his heart that day was the reason he first donned the armor that had served him through so many battles.
It was not Earth, for his last memories of the once blue marble were of destruction and death. Every inch he had seen had been sullied and scorched by those unwavering and unrelenting machines known as the Reapers. For that world, and for their future, he had assembled, begged, bribed and mustered every fighting force in existence for one glorious charge.
And it was not Rannoch, a world that had promised to be his future. A planet to rebuild in the dawning sprit of peace and freedom for all those who would live there. A home that he had promised her, with a future woven in love and the struggles they had been though at each other’s’ sides. From the battlefields to the courtroom to very differences in biology, Tali’zorah vas Normandy had stayed beside him, becoming more than just a fellow soldier. More than just a friend through thick and thin. She had become his heart, his own reason to fight on as the galaxy crumbled.
His soul should have burrowed through the ground at the realization. This place was none of those, as it was in fact, far beyond anywhere he’d ever been. Many times he’d come close to here, only to be pulled back into the fight, back into life. Such tranquility, such serenity, presented only one solution to Commander Shepard. Yet that fact did not bother him, there was no reason for it to. Because he knew that they had won the day at long last. For all the blood spilled across the many shores of the stars, and with the strength of his friends and his crew, he knew in his core that they were free. That fact alone was enough to soothe his pulse. His duty had been done and he was proud of all those who served with him, just as she was proud of him to have pulled them so far.
“I’d forgotten what peace feels like.” he spoke to the dancing blades of grass, to see them wave in response as the wind graced through then.
“It is indeed a sensation that we have not seen in a long time. And with it comes the thanks of so many whom have fought beside us. And the gratitude of all those who sacrifice was not forgotten,” came the response of another. It was a deep voice, but not rough or grizzled like others he had come to know. There was softness to it, along with a resolve built after seeing much of the same things Shepard had. Battle after battle from one corner of the stars to another. Too many friends whose lives were laid down, or worse yet, were ordered to the end.
A voice that came with a story that he felt like walked next to his own. “Yeah. I wonder if they are somewhere like this, too.” Though with that notion came another thought that made him smile, “Though I imagine Mordin would go crazy pretty quick.”
“I admit, I did not expect to see such a field within the Matrix. However, there is a tranquil quality that is most welcoming. It is not the only trait our two races share.”
“No, I’d imagine not. Still, the ability to transform must have a few perks to it,” he smirked.
And for a brief moment in time, Optimus Prime allowed himself the smallest notion of a grin before it the weight of the Prime title washed it away again. “Perhaps, but there is one ability that you possess that is of far greater power than to simply change form.”
It wasn’t often that a sentient machine had called Shepard ‘powerful’ in any respect, “And what ability is that? I’m just a soldier, I never imagined fighting such a thing as a Reaper, let alone millions of them.”
Optimus fixed his gaze off into the distance, “Similar words have been said by many fellow Autobots. But none are as skilled at forging the bonds of peace the way you have across your fellow species.”
Turning towards the Commander, the larger mechanical vanguard nodded to him, “You succeeded where many, including myself, have failed. Even in our own struggle against Unicron the Chaos-Bringer, we could not bring about true peace with the Decipticons.”
“It was a close call, but even those races who hated humans still wanted to survive,” Shepard countered, then smirked to himself, “I can’t count how many guns I’ve had pointed at me from people who were about to become our allies.”
The massive machination pondered that for a moment. “The will to persevere is a powerful motivator. In the end, despite the differences in our biology and the similarities in our histories, it seems that we are bound to the same mission.”
Shepard rose to his feet, “And the same end, it looks like.”
The sound of shifting metal drew his eye to his larger compatriot, as the Commander was now standing next to a shining beast of a truck, which opened its door for him. “Then it may be time to see what else Primus has set in our path.”
“Well then, let’s roll out.”
HAPPY NEW YEAR! And holy cow has a lot changed since I was last here. If I had one New Year’s Resolution, it would be this: smack whatever creative spark that I have back into the furnace and see what ignites. So let’s begin here, with a conversation between two science fiction heroes who are worlds apart, but held more than met the eye and saved their ways of life in the end.
I hope you all enjoy