“Shepard-Commander. What is your perspective on EDI and Joker’s romantic relationship?”
Shepard gives a wry smile. “I wasn’t surprised, if that’s what you mean.”
“We had calculated a fifty-three to seventy-eight percent chance that Joker would pursue EDI should she procure a physical platform, dependant on the aesthetic appeal.”
“Actually, it was mostly EDI who did the pursuing.”
This had not been likely scenario. The consensus had concluded that, of the two, EDI would see that a relationship between a synthetic and an organic, and between two crew members, could become or be seen as problematic.
“Just because a person isn’t flesh and blood doesn’t mean they can’t have feelings. EDI does have feelings, of a specific kind, for a specific person. She chose to act on them. I don’t see why you’re so surprised.”
Legion considers this. “Geth do not feel. We reason and reach consensus.”
She punches him gently in the chest, knuckles knocking against the N7 insignia. “That’s what I said.”
Shepard was already walking away. “Maybe next time I’ll be giving relationship advice to you.”
“What is the purpose of this meeting?”
“It’s not a meeting. We’re just going to relax for a bit.”
Legion follows, even while protesting. “But we must–“
“Must can wait for an hour.”
Shepard turns around sharply and Legion comes to an abrupt stop. “What do Geth do for fun?”
“Never mind,” she says, holding up a hand. “I have a better question. Do you remember when you told me about the superstructure the Geth were building? A home for every single Geth program?”
“You said, correct me if I’m wrong, no geth will be alone when it is done.”
“That is correct.”
“That’s the purpose. I’ve already lost friends. But we’re still here, and now so are you. I want to take a minute to appreciate that, okay? Even Tali missed you, why don’t the three of us go to the observation lounge and argue about what the drinks taste like. Or maybe we could play a game of poker and finally see James lose. This is your home too. Let’s not be alone for a little while.” She sighs. “How does that sound?”
Shepard is standing in front of the memorial wall in front of the elevator. Her arms are folded around herself and her eyes are unfocused.
She turns to Legion. “Yes?” There’s a pause where neither of them speak. “Are you alright?”
“We…” The consensus stalls, still confused by organic communication customs of not saying quite what they mean, then decides for the most direct question. “Have there been more casualties?”
She seems to realise suddenly where she is standing. “Oh. No. I was just…thinking. What you showed me in the consensus. The Quarians supporting the Geth in the morning war, dying for it, I just. I came out of the elevator and this is here. I just hope we can honour their sacrifices.”
“Do we have a responsibility to even those who die?”
“Before my dad died, he told me that to carry the lives of those who had died for us wasn’t a weight, but a gift. That everything they were becomes part of who we are. He said nothing really dies. We just change.”
Legion is unsure of what she is trying to convey but attempts to complete the analogy. “If a Geth platform is destroyed, the programs are transmitted to the next nearest platform. The memories are conserved.”
“It wasn’t just memories, was it? You let the surviving Quarians go. Why? You’ve been repairing their planet's ecosystem even though you don’t need to. You never attack but in self-defence. You honoured the sacrifices someone else made by taking up the responsibility to build the future they would have built. That’s what it really means to leave something of yourself behind.”
The continued stonewalling and self-servitude of the council confuses and frustrates Shepard. Legion frequently runs background processes that try to understand the reasoning behind their behaviour, something that had become a largely permanent feature in the consensus since their integration into the Normandy. The council's long-term denial of the Reaper invasion, and their new policy of refusing to help for the most selfish of reasons, is illogical in the extreme but Shepard herself keeps pushing forward. Her singular determination could yet win the war.
This sense of duty seems to radiate, changing the perspective of those she comes into close contact with. Major Kirahee has promised Shepard his support regardless of what the Dalatrass decides, along with many other Salarians. Aria T’Loak has promised Shepard the Terminus Fleet despite being a career criminal and the antagonism between them. Even Balak, noted Batarian terrorist, and the remaining soldiers of the Hegemony have put aside their mutual hatred, at least for the time being, to stand side by side with the Systems Alliance, something that had once been unthinkable.
Legion is waiting for her when Shepard steps into the shuttle bay.
“Ready to go?”
“Yes. Shepard-Commander. We would like to thank you for your support for the Geth cause and for…your actions against the reapers. Your work in uniting the races has been inspiring.”
“You’re not going to thank me for punching Han’Gerrel?” She grins. “Admit it, that was pretty good.”
Legion recalls the crackle of satisfaction across their – his – their young synapses. “Yes. Pretty good.”
What is goodness? The state or quality of being good. What is good? Superior to the average. Having qualities that are desirable to distinguishing. Serving of the desired purpose. Having honour or respect. What is good? Moral excellence; virtue; kindness; generosity; loyalty. What is goodness? Shepard going forward despite everything. Shepard ready to sacrifice her life to save her people. Shepard’s smile when she sees people come together to cooperate, to help each other. Shepard’s warmth when she indulges her crew and encourages them to be friendly regardless of rank or species. Shepard’s sharp anger in their defence and on their behalf. Shepard’s unflinching duty to herself to do her absolute best with the time she has.
What is good?
“Shepard-Commander. I must go to them. I’m…sorry. It’s the only way.”
I am good.