Saturday, June 9, 2012

ME2 - Rejection

A failed reunion.

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

Meriel's Personal Log, Entry Twelve
Location: Horizon

On one hand, our descent to Horizon revealed a three points of pertinent information that provides both my team and Cerberus with a better understanding of the Collectors.
1) The husks that are back and are new and improved. Yet, as Jack pointed out, then still die when you shoot them with a gun.
2)The Collectors are freezing people and (putting them into pods?) before taking them to their ship.  That is why vacated human colonies show no signs of struggle.
3) Collector seeker swarms ensure that no colonists are left to tell their tale.  Jack, Garrus, and I only returned unscathed because of special technology Mordin developed for us.  Other colonists on Horizon only survived because my tea showed up to stem the time.
Despite the fact that the Collector leader, Harbinger, has begun to show an interest me, our mission was a pretty rousing success from an information perspective.  From a personal perspective though, this stop over (if you can even call it that) was anything but.  Mentally I know that the first part, the information we obtained about the Collectors, should be the most important to me.  Two or three years ago that part certainly would have held precedence in my mind, to the exclusion of all else.  I am not the same "me" anymore though.

Let's be honest here. Two years ago our mission was a mess.  The geth took everyone by surprise, the Council made me a Spectre out of desperation, the Council refused to truly back my team in anything we did, and in the end we had to break ourselves out of house arrest just to save Citadel Space.  Nothing the crew did on that mission happened as planned, lives were needlessly lost, bureaucrats ignored the reality of the situation, and in the end I "awake" two years later to find that not much has changed.  From my old crew, there were two people I trusted implicitly - Garrus and Ashley.  While Garrus currently has his own problems to deal with, he really has not changed all that much since we first met.  In all the ways that matters, he remains a rock I can lean on when everything else is spinning out of control.  The next best thing to having Garrus on board, would be the addition of Williams.  Both the Illusive Man and Anderson made it quite clear that she was beyond my reach, but that does not mean that I was not looking forward to reuniting with her upon the surface of Horizon.  The Illusive Man felt that her presence on the planet was not a coincidence.  He even surmised that the Collectors might "go after her to get to [me]".  All of that I would have expected.  What I did not expect was Willams' anger.  

The Ashley I knew was rational, collected, and above all loyal.  This Ashley, however, was infuriated and wounded.  While still loyal in her own way I suppose, I certainly do not remember her being this mistrusting.   At least not of me.

1) Anger at my sudden "rebirth" I can understand.  The unexpected and the unknown commonly feed on our most volatile emotions, and the Lazarus Project was, at best, an "unknown." From a religious perspective  ... well I have never been as devout as Ashley, and yet I still find myself wrestling with the spiritual implications of my situation some night.
2) She wanted to know why I had not contacted her.  Anger made her forget that her files are classified and as such I had no way to do so.
3) She was frustrated that Anderson refused to tell her anything, even to give credence to rumors that I was not dead. The refusal of everyone to tell her anything at all must have been infuriating.
All of this is understandable, and to be honest it was good to see Williams be so ... human.  For once.  Her tirade only tread into uncharacteristic territory with the mention of Cerberus.

The specific accusation used was "working for the Enemy."  While I bear no love for Cerberus and continue to mistrust their motives, Williams conveniently forgot that I was not actually given a choice in this matter.  Cerberus brought me back from the dead and Cerberus is providing the means to go after the Collectors at a time when no one else will.  In this our aims align with one another.  In the end, I work with Cerberus, but not for them.  Ashley says that I am lying to myself if that is what I truly believe.  To some extent she may be correct, I suppose, but under no circumstances have I "turned my back on everything [she and I] stood for."  Even Garrus could see Williams was off base - so focused on Cerberus that she was blinded to the real threat endangering humanity.

In the end, all of us left that conversation unsatisfied.  Ashley would not see reason.  Garrus and I felt betrayed.  Betrayal is nothing new to me, but I never, ever imagined that it would come from her.  Never.

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