Disclaimer: I do not own anything even vaguely familiar to the Mass Effect series.
I simply own this particular plot line and a select few characters.
Alliance soldiers swarmed the Cerberus facility. Room after room was cleared of all personnel. Experiments were carted out and processed. And then came the final room. There was no one inside. All lights were off, but there was this strange blue glow coming from the center of the room. The soldiers entered slowly, scanning the room carefully. All eyes fell on the large crystal tank in the center of the room. The soldiers approached, filing into the room. They circled the tank, noticing that there was a strange figure inside the glowing liquid.
"Investigate," spoke the leading unit. One hulking soldier stepped out of the awkward circle and got closer to the tank.
"A woman," he said, taking in the shapely body floating within the liquid. The commanding officer took a quick stride to the tank and glanced into the it. A voice sounded from within the room.
"Sir! I think I can purge the tank here," said the stern female voice. A woman was standing at a control panel.
"Do it. Stark, Banner, Vega. Stay with the girl. Wake her and see what she knows." The three men nodded and saluted the commanding officer as he left the room. The woman by the panel pushed the purging button and proceeded to leave the room. The remaining soldiers filed out after them.
The tank flashed a violent red and a siren sounded. The liquid began draining from thin vents in the bottom of the tank. The young woman's body rocked gently in the liquid and began the slow drift to the floor of the tank. She reached the tank floor with a gentle thud. Her waist length red hair, clung to her luscious, creamy curves, covering her in most of the appropriate spots. Stark went to the tank as the glass top split vertically down the center and opened to the sides. He took a close look at her and called the others over.
"She's not breathing," he said. Banner reached into the tank and took her by the arm. He hauled her limp body up and out of the tank, taking her into his arms. Vega searched the room for something to cover her with, spotting a thin white sheet in the corner of the room. He went and grabbed the sheet, returning in time to see her placed gently on the floor. He tossed the sheet at Stark and he covered her with it. Banner swept her hair out of the way and proceeded to initiate CPR. After a few chest presses, she did not respond. Banner checked for a pulse.
"She has a faint pulse," Banner said. "Not sure why she's not breathing."
"Let me try," spoke Vega. Banner nodded. Vega knelt to the ground beside the woman. He tilted her head and then pinched her nose. He then pressed his lips to hers, noticing the softness, the suppleness of her lips. He then blew air into her lungs. Banner timed out the chest presses. As Vega bent to breathe into her again, her body twitched semi-violently, and she coughed up what appeared to clear water. She raised a numb hand to her mouth, brushing it gently. Her eyes fluttered before fully opening. She had the brightest, most vibrant green eyes Vega had ever seen. She took in a ragged breath, eyes darting left and right.
"It's ok," spoke Vega. Banner nodded with a slight smile, trying to be comforting. Stark knelt down beside her head.
"I'm Sergeant Marcus Stark," he started. "This is Corporal Eric Banner and Private James Vega," he finished, pointing to each in turn. "What's your name, dear?" The young woman clutched the sheet to her chest, and blinked in sheer confusion. She looked from man to man, eyes faltering on James Vega.
"You," she said, voice barely a whisper. James Vega blinked.
"Me?" he said.
"You were in the waking dream. You saved me from the three headed dread hound," she whispered. The men looked at each other, exchanging looks of concern and confusion. James sat back on heels and sighed.
"Three headed dread hound?" he questioned. The woman tucked the sheet around her body and sat up. She leaned towards James.
"Thank you so much," she spoke softly. She got closer to James and laid a gentle kiss upon his lips. James froze, unsure of what to do. Stark and Banner just stared, dumbstruck. James pulled back slowly, taking the unnamed woman by the shoulders.
"You're welcome," he said with a slight nod. He pushed her gently from his body, trying to get space between the mystery woman and himself. Stark snapped back to reality.
"Miss," he called, trying to get her attention. She turned her head in his direction. "What's your name, honey?"
"They called me Thellos," she said simply. She tucked a piece of her long hair behind her ear. "I'm cold." Banner quickly removed his armored vest and pulled his long sleeve shirt from over his head. He handed her the shirt and quickly restored his armor. Thellos pulled the four sizes too big shirt over her head. She stood, shaky at first, and let the shirt hem drop to her knees over the sheet. She then gave a small shimmy, and the sheet spilled to the floor around her ankles. James looked up at her, noticing just how small she really was. She stood about five foot three, with a guessing weight of about 115 pounds. Small and fragile.
"Better?" Banner questioned, adjusting his armored vest against his now naked skin. Thellos shook her head yes.
"Thank you," she said. The three men rose to their feet and towered over the young woman. Stark was about 5'11" whereas Vega stood about 6'1". Banner towered at six foot five. Each of the men were muscled, but each man was shaped differently. Stark was a thin man, obvious built for speed and maneuverability. Banner was bulky man, built like a small tank. James was in the middle, built thick, but with a sense of hidden agility. Thellos looked from man to man again. She took the in hairstyles of each man. Stark had thick slicked back hair, where Banner had a close shaved style. James stood with a mowhawk. Thellos reached a hand out and stroked the mowhawk. James flinched away, unsure of what she was doing. Thellos looked down apologetically.
"Sorry. I didn't know what you were doing," he said quietly. Thellos simply nodded. Stark stepped close to her and took her by the arm.
"We need to get you the Master Sergeant Wesker, Thellos. He'll have a few questions for you," Stark said slowly. Thellos nodded her head again. She allowed him to lead her from the room, Banner and Vega in tow.
"We ran your DNA. We see that you're related to Mahariel Shepard, the hero of Elysium," spoke Master Sergeant Christopher Wesker. Thellos tilted her head to the right, a question plain on her face. Wesker looked at her hard, searching her form information. "Are you not related to Shepard?" He glared at her sternly, waiting for her answer. "We already know the truth. You might as well just tell us." Thellos shifted her head to the left. "Well?"
"I am Mahariel Shepard. I am a genetically altered clone of her. Her victory on Elysium sparked an interest in her. The masters did not wish for the human race to loose her. She is a prize to be cultured and cherished," she spoke in a torrent of information, a haze cast over her eyes. It was as if she had been programmed to reveal the information in such a manor. Wesker blinked at her.
"What?" he said simply.
"I am Mahariel Shepard. I am a genetically altered clone of her. Her victory on Elysium sparked an interest in her. The masters did not wish for the human race to loose her. She is a prize to be cultured and cherished," she repeated as if on a loop.
"So you're a clone, but you read as a sibling on DNA scanners?" asked Wesker.
"That is correct," she responded, eyes still hazed over. Wesker nodded. He then paced a small oval on the floor, thinking deeply about what he had just heard. A clone. A genetically altered clone. She was Shepard, but she was Thellos. Why?
"Why were you created?"
"To preserve the prized chain of DNA that is Mahariel Shepard."
"She has an ancient strand of DNA that runs back to old mythology. It was discovered upon looking into her after Elysium."
"What ancient strand?"
"Shepard is one of a long line of Mahariel's. There will come a day when the fate of the world will be on her shoulders."
"That's insanity. The fate of the world won't just be on the shoulders of one woman."
"That is all the data this one has access to." Thellos blinked rapidly and placed a hand across her face. She let out and audible sigh. Wesker stared at her intently.
"Did you just say 'data?'" he questioned her.
"While I was in the tank, being grown, they imprinted me with information. On who I was. On who she is. Otherwise I am simply Thellos. Her apparent long lost sister." Thellos looked at the ground, playing with the hem of the long shirt she wore. Wesker snorted, not believing her for a minute.
"Get her to Anderson. See what he wants done with her, Private," he said with sigh. Vega took Thellos by the arm and led her out of the room. they travel through the facility. He escorted her on to the Alliance vessel and took her to a holding cell.
"You'll have to stay here until we get to Earth," James said with a slight somber tone. Thellos looked up at him and nodded her head slightly. She walked into the cell and took a seat on the small bench provided for her. She looked at James with subtle fear on her face. James closed the cell door with the push of a button. He turned and headed back the way he came. He stopped short and glanced over his shoulder. Thellos had her face buried in her hands, obviously crying.