Normandy, docked with the Shadow Broker base, orbit around Hagalaz

It had been around five hours since they secured the Shadow Broker base and Shepard had been busy organising teams to fully sweep the Broker base for any lingering combatants and also to survey the Broker’s assets.

She was aware that Liara and Kasumi were leading the evaluation and ongoing ‘management’ of the Broker’s network. There would need to be a discussion as to who would hold control over them from this point on.

Aria was already pitching that she should take control as it was more her area of operation but the Matriarchs back on Thessia had made it very clear they wanted the network for their own purposes.

Shepard had visited the wounded, made arrangements for the dead, taken back command of her ship and Miranda was back in her XO position. She had avoided any and all conversations with everyone, including and especially her mother, which were not directly related to practical issues.

And now she was in the small ante room off the main conference room where she would normally take any private or confidential vid comm meetings.

On one of the screens Shepard had the Normandy’s brig cameras on a live feed and she stared at the Asari who had tried to kill her, who had taken her place while she was dead to Liara.

Yet who had also, in a perverse way, helped bring Shepard back and certainly kept her out of the hands of the Collectors. And Shiala had given Liara an escape from that deep dark place of frozen grief her lover had been thrown into after the Normandy was destroyed.

And who had shared Liara’s bed. That thought kept returning to her as if on some painful playback loop.

Shepard was trying to get hold of the intense mix of feelings that were coursing through her. She rarely lost control of her emotions but she had after Shiala attacked her or was that happening even before. Perhaps from the moment she laid eyes on her bondmates ex-lover.

She just wanted to tear the Asari to pieces and had no compassion for what she may have been through at the hands of the Shadow Broker. And certainly had no feeling of gratitude to Shiala for saving Liara’s life by sacrificing her own.

This didn’t sit right with Shepard, she felt overwhelmed by these feelings. But were they feelings, some of emotion felt less well defined, more as if she was being bombarded by emotions form somewhere else, she certainly couldn’t connect with all of them.

“Why do you get under my skin,” Shepard asked the figure on the vid screen.

Aria seemed to feel the same way as Shepard, “yeah but that’s hardly the gold standard of attitude and behaviour I was aiming for

Chapter 57