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True, without error, certain and most true: wherein a literature and language geek airs her fangirlishness to the entire internet.

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Posts tagged Death Is All You Cradle

Aug 6 '12
Aug 6 '12

…And now I’ve got to change 6,000 words of previously-written fic from past to present tense.

And set the dial on the Heartwrenching all the way up to “fry.” (Alexandra Shepard, young lady, why are you such a bitch?!)


Aug 6 '12
Apr 2 '12

Ficlet - From The Life That You Always Knew

Title: From The Life That You Always Knew

Fandom: Mass Effect

Rating: G. Brief mention of child abuse.

Word Count: 962

Summary: “Alexandra became Alex became Shepard and found the stars and searched them.” Self-indulgent character study piece. 


She doesn’t dream anymore.

Not the old dreams, the good dreams, good-person dreams. The Alexandra dreams. She is not Alexandra anymore, just Alex: a new name that had been won at enlistment age eighteen with a buzz cut and razor scars on her scalp and the laugh of new recruits, all her matted-hair past shoved down the drain.

Her mother had named her Alexandra. Her mother had insisted.

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Mar 26 '12

Because I’m amused by how scrawlish and psychotic my handwriting can be: behold some pages from my little red notebook of brainstorming and sundry ideas. Whee!

Feb 5 '12

Mmmkay, 1,800 words, it’s two in the morning; I believe I shall go to bed.


(Because Death Is All You Cradle is going to be a series now, not a single fic, and I got random inspiration for…I thought it was the first installment, but now I’m thinking it’s the second. Have a sample!)


The air is thin.

It is to be expected, of course – it has all been vented, recycled, must be slowly pumped back in to fill the empty corners and chairs, the vacancy in the mess hall, the silence up on the bridge. The quiet. She can hear the scuff and clink of Mordin setting things right in the laboratory where all his test tubes and experiments were blown awry in the draft, the professor muttering under his breath about loss and salvage and give and take while Legion takes inventory in a cool, mechanical monotone. Emotionless. She can hear scuff and clink from the armory, too, same noises but rougher, more metal and less glass, no words; just weapons tested, loaded, set aside, stood at attention. Preparation. The sterile air is growing thick with gun oil, with anticipation.

Alexandra Shepard breathes it in, breathes it out, oil and smoke and medi-gel and the lingering Collector musk of death she knows too well, that empty scent of space. Breathes in and out and listens and listens. In the space where the chatter of the crew usually sits she can hear her heartbeat, far louder than normal without the dulling static of the bridge. It’s all brass and platinum on Cerberus steel, artificial, cybernetic, thump and piston-thump of alive, alive.


Nov 23 '11

Screenshots part 2: Alexandra “Alex” Shepard

Oh dear. Where to begin?

Alex is my canon Shepard. I had an interesting time finding screenshots for her, because I always picture her with the full-on Renegade scarring that you only get at the endgame. Her eyes glow. (Where they don’t glow, they’re gray. Thane believes that her eyes are grey and inky luminescent black - star-speckled deep space - because he can’t distinguish that end of the spectrum). Her scarring, of course, is all over her body. She was right pissed at the Lazarus project for removing all the scars she had from the first game, as those meant things.

She is an Earthborn Sole Survivor, and very, very Renegade.

Alex is blunt, foul-mouthed, somewhat cold, and isn’t quite an alcoholic - not for lack of trying, it’s just that her new Cerberus liver works too fast.She genuinely believes that she should be dead and that Cerberus had no business reviving her. As such, she’s slightly passively suicidal.

She romanced Thane because he’s exciting. There are things they don’t talk about.

As Thane’s illness takes more of a toll, she begins to find him “boring” and ends up having a fling with Zaeed. Thane knows. Alex pretends not to give a shit.

She is very good friends with Jack; the two of them made a habit of annoying Miranda before the latter got herself blown up. She is ferociously protective of Tali. She does not trust Jacob as far as she can throw him, because she believes that he has no right to be that nice. She clashed with Samara, repeatedly - and ended up tipping Morinth off and letting her go during Samara’s loyalty mission, because the Ardat-Yakshi was exciting and because it would ensure that Samara stayed off her back once the mission was over. This point is now moot, however, as Samara was shot during the suicide mission. In the back, oddly enough. Alex gave Zaeed a bonus afterward.

She names her guns. Her Widow Sniper Rifle is named Sasha. Her Carnifex Hand Canon is Natasha. This is intentional.

Song: Beat the Devil’s Tattoo by BRMC

Fic: Yes! Forthcoming! Working title of “Death Is All You Cradle,” covers her post-endgame activities, Aria T’Loak being terrifying, and the horrible love triangle…thing…that she’s got going on.



“Security -!”

“I’m a Spectre, dumbass! I can’t get drunk any more but I sure as hell intend to try, and if you don’t want to take my credits –”



Fuck Thane.

…That was even more profound than usual.

The turian yelped and stumbled backwards and onto the floor, followed by half his liquor supply in a symphony of breaking glass. Shepard didn’t wait for him to get up. “Thane,” she said, out loud this time, “what do you think you’re –”

“Keeping an eye on you.” He was grabbing her and pulling her away, whispers of security and Spectre rippling through the crowd. “A service you are in desperate need of, apparently. Assaulting innocent bartenders is not –”

Her voice pitched shrill. “He wouldn’t serve me a drink!”

“Shepard.” Amusement. Amusement? Bloody drell. “You are drunk.”

“Am not.”

“You are drunk disturbingly often, Shepard.”

Shepard, went the whispers around them. Shepard, Shepard.

“Yeah, and I’m also high as a –”

He ducked away from her attempt to kiss him, tugging her around a clump of asari dancers toward the door. “This isn’t –”

“- High as a kite, disturbingly not often, you should be more concerned about that.”

“This is not the time, Siha.”

Siha, echoed the whispers. Siha. Angel. Saint. Siha.

Bloody, fucking drell.

Shepard wrenched out of his grip and darted back into the crowd, into a maze of asari and turian, human and batarian, twisting hanar tentacles and thrown-back heads. Smiling lips. Hips. They parted before her and swallowed her down. She swam through the surf of bodies as the lights turned them blue, sea-green and sick Omega red. The whispers were everywhere, Shepard and Spectre and saint. Siha. Siha. One of them was Thane but he was behind her and he was gone (gone, missing, dealing with security, far away and dying) and she wasn’t drunk or high enough to follow. Not really. Not ever.

Heady alcohol-tinged rush of blood to her head.

Alive, echoed the heartbeat bass. Alive, alive.

There was a credit chit in her hand and a bartender before her and he was handing her a drink, smile reaching all four of his eyes. The glass was cool in her hand and the liquid inside was clear, wrong, something was wrong, she knew what was wrong in that batarian smile and years of instincts from Earth were screaming at her. But fuck that.

Fuck waiting.

The drink was in hand and the drell was at her side and the drink was to her lips and then on the floor and there was shouting.