Saturday, February 11, 2012

ME2 - Mordin

Realizations in the plague zone.

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Meriel's Personal Log, Entry Nine
Location: Omega

After much self-reflection, I have started to come to a realization about myself.  The fighting, the violence ... it does not bother me anymore.  Well, it does not bother me like it used to.  I suppose this statement must come with an addendum given my infamous reputation - one that follows me even after death.  The thing is though, there is a major difference between doing what must be done because it must be done, and doing what must be done without an ounce of remorse.  I have always believed in letting my gun do the talking when the job called for it, especially since words and politics rarely solve problems ... at least not the kind of problems the Alliance always called me in on.  I, after all, was the person they kept in reserve for the jobs nobody else could do.  My cherished position, of course, was earned when I was "gifted" with the title Butcher of Torfan and the reputation for ruthlessness that came along with it. People simply assumed that I felt nothing for the many good soldiers we lost that day. Their deaths earned me infamy; but in reality, their sacrifices haunted me for years.  Only recently has my self-flagellation subsided.  I do not regret past decisions like that, it was the sacrifice of a few who save the lives of many.  Likewise, during the battle against Soverign, I do not regret Alenko's death.  I am angry that the geth forced me into a corner where I had to play God, choosing who would live and die, but I do not regret it.  In the end, Alenko's sacrifice helped save millions of lives.  No. Extreme situations like these are not of which I speak.

The circumstances which I contemplate here, center largely on the conflict that occurs when my team inevitably finds itself in the middle of explosive social rivalries or gang warfare.  At one time these encounters bothered me.  Now, armed intervention in these situations just seems so common place that it is difficult to feel anything at all.  On one hand, lack of feeling (at least temporarily) is the ideal mindset since it prevents one from letting soft-hardheartedness or thirst for blood cloud their judgement. Yet, while I often tried to remain indifferent, despair for the state of humanity or regret for needless conflict never hovered too far below the surface.  Recent excursions to Omega though, have led me to believe that since my revival, indifference may be all that remains.

Omega is ruled by terror, intimidation, and extortion; largely because it remains a world where everyone makes and abides by their own laws.  Inhabited by gangs, criminals, smugglers, slavers, and those unfortunate enough to be stranded there, Omega is one place most would face little moral conflict in regards to the quelling of life.  Some, like Garrus, even see justice in it, and I do not begrudge them that. That said, I am not "some."  I, of all people, should hesitate before jumping in to the middle of gang violence.  After all, had circumstance been different, those people could have been me.  "What could have been" is a dangerous path to walk down when the safety and survival of my team is paramount in a dangerous situation.  Even so, what could have beens plagued my career in the Alliance - the thought inescapable.  So, imagine my surprise when our last recruitment mission into Omega's quarantined sector left me emotionally flat.  Zaeed, Jacob, and I mowed down the Blue Sun members, krogan mercs, and scavengers on our way to the clinic.  Just as many of the same died when we helped Dr. Mordin Solus institute his cure for the plague.  Not even once did it phase me.  While it was a relief to not constantly see the face of my past self imposed upon that of my opponents as they died; the lack of emotion with which I executed this mission mad me pause. Has this second (un-asked for) chance at life left me more detached than before?  I do not know.  I suppose I should at least be thankful that I did not return from the grave filled with a passion for slaughter.  That would be far more difficult to reconcile myself with.

As for the doctor himself, Mordin Solus, well ... he is not quite what I expected.  While he is quite pragmatic, as expected thanks to Aria's description, he also has a very peculiar personality. More specifically,  the internal working of his mind have a habit of verbally demonstrating itself during conversion. For example, after telling Dr. Solus that a secret, privately funded, human organization had sent me, he replied with, "Related to plague? Doesn't effect humans. Human centric interest. Few human groups would know it. Equipment suggests military origin. Not Alliance standard. Spectres not human. Terra Firma too unstable. Only one option.  Cerberus sent you.  Unexpected."  Though this particular mannerism will take some getting used to, its manifestation seems to be a sign of extreme intelligence.  When combined with the doctor's battle scarred face (a sign that the medical profession is a more recent career choice), it became quite clear why the Illusive Man gave me Mordin's dossier.  He is highly intelligent and very practical. Aria, after all, said he was just as likely to shoot you as he was to cure you. More importantly, since everything the doctor thinks comes out his mouth, I would never have to worry about him lying to me.  Despite the lack of trust he seems to have in society's instinct to do good (a skepticism I often share), Mordin genuinely seems to have a good heart.  In the short time we were in the quarantined district, my team heard multiple tales of the doctor ruthlessly defending those who came seeking medical aid.  He, himself, made sure that we all knew the clinic to be a safe-zone.  Yes, this Salarian is just the addition we need to the Normandy's crew.

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