NOT. ONE. MORE.
Those are the words Commander Sheppard speaks, just before begining the last phase of his suicide mission against the Collectors. Having been through hell, and death, he stands ready to lose it all in the effort of taking the collectors and the reapers to task. And his crew, made up of life from every corner of known existance, stands before him, ready to protect the very thing they now stand to lose: Life.
There have been far too many loses at the hands of the collectors. Entire collonies, wiped out, so that the reapers could build their newest weapon. The Human Reaper. And this crew and I, a rag-tag bunch of rebels and skells, each flawed anti-heroes in their own right, were going to make sure that there would not be a single more loss of life at the hands of these ancient villians and their insidious plans.
But there was one more. There was always one more.
I've tried very hard to protect my crew from the certain death awaiting for them beyond the Omega 4 relay and inside the collector base. But each time I've played through, someone has been one more. The first time, it was 3 more. Mordin, Legion, and Zaeed. Legion, I didn't mind as he was just one piece of a very large, symbiotic race. Surely he could be replaced by another member with little adjustment needed. But Zaeed was an amazing squadmate. Both in personality, as well as over all combat. And Mordin...Well, if you've played...you know.
So I began again. This time, I did everything. I searched every planet, and found every mineral needed to make sure that every upgrade was funded and completed. I also did every loyalty mission. I made sure that every single one of my crew had only the mission at hand to worry about. And that they knew their commander was the one man who they could trust completely. Except for one.
I had just finished her loyalty mission when the cinema starts about her fight with lawson. I sat back, ready to use my paragon option to settle their argument and get back to the business at hand. But...it didn't happen. It was as blacked out as a redacted document. I didn't understand, what was it that I did wrong? What did I have to do differently? Maybe it wouldn't matter, I thought. Maybe, at the end, I'll keep her by my side, and she'll survive. This had to work, right? Wrong.
I sent Legion through the tubes, and like a Geth Boss, he came out the other side unharmed. As did Jacob, both times leading the distraction team. The Justicar kept us safe, and sound as Garrus, Grunt, and I walked through the seeker swarms slowly, methodically, and successfully. And as we reached the final moment, I took Garrus, and I took Jack. In the hopes that we, the best the universe had seen, could keep this poor girl alive.
But alas, she was not meant to live. She fell to her death along side me. She escorted the crew back to the Normandy, but died just before reaching it. She helped the others distract the collectors, but her distraction included a lethal shot to the chest. And one time that I changed up her actions, the actions of another suffered as well. During her escort mission to the Normandy, Thane took a bullet to the chest and left us for whatever after life he believed in. I watched in horror as it became cleaar to me. I had to start over.
I flushed the memories of this failed attempt, and sat back in my chair. The first of many cups of coffee this game would surely cause me to drink to my side, and determination throughout my entire form. I will search the universe. I will mine every planet. I will upgrade every piece of equipment. I will make every. single. squad member. loyal. Again.
I will keep them all alive. Not a seeker swarm, or a Collector bullet, shall keep my crew from surviving.
I lost Alenko.
Not one more.