[Prose] Silverheart: Chapters 0-1

Disclaimer: Title is still a work in progress. The actual body is as well, but I’d like opinions nonetheless.

0: Rebirth

Lilith woke up in a puddle of her own sweat. Naked, exhausted, and feeling like every muscle in her body had been surgically removed, then replaced. And hungry, so very hungry. Screw steak, she felt like she could eat an entire cow. Raw.
The thought frightened her. She had never particularly enjoyed the taste of meat, even less so as she was forced to eat it as her illness grew stronger, but now she effectively craved it. She knew these urges would come; she had been warned often enough about the dangers her condition entailed. But it doesn’t matter from how far you see the truck coming. If there is no way to jump aside, it’s going to hit you, and it’s going to hit you hard. No amount of warnings or anticipation was going to prepare her for this.
As the red mist faded away, and the room around her came into focus again, she tried to sit up, muscles straining every inch of the way. Once she was up straight a familiar voice entered her ear a few seconds before it became comprehensible: “…so proud of you. We thought we lost you for a while, but you came back to us before we had to… Never mind. How do you feel?”
Lilith knew exactly what she meant, and swallowed when she realized how close to death she had been. “I’m… I feel like the entire world just rolled over me, crushed every bone and squished every muscle in my body, then someone put it all together with super glue…“ She paused for a moment. “Also, I’m dead tired. Mum… Thank you, for being here.”
“You’re my daughter. I’d do anything for you.” She wrapped a long, thick coat around her daughter’s bare shoulders, who grabbed the sides and pulled it close around her. Only now did Lilith realize how cold she was. Her mother continued with the words tradition has dictated since her people became a people: “Your greatest struggle is behind you. You have survived death, and now eternity is yours for the taking.”

1: Bearings

It was a long, and busy trip, but I have finally arrived at my destination.
Katherina reread the sentence, blinked, reread it again, then crossed it out. She massaged the bridge of her nose with her thumb and forefinger and swore under her breath. Finally she tossed her notebook aside with a loud sigh. It was hopeless. How was she ever supposed to find work as a journalist if she couldn’t get an article sorted?
She sighed again, decided to get some food sorted, and hopped up from bed. The room was still filled with boxes containing pretty much all her stuff. The walls were still blank and the book racks were empty. Ever since she arrived in her new home, she had been too busy trying in vain to put words on paper to start unpacking. She had stuffed the fridge, obviously, and made sure her natural writing habitat -her bed- was in order, but beyond that, pretty much everything still needed to find a place. She’d get to it. Eventually. For now, though, she fished out a bowl of lettuce leaves from the refrigerator and took it to the living room.
She was happy she didn’t have to decorate the entire apartment. Moving in with a guy she met online might not have been the most popular of options with her parents, but it was by far the cheapest. At least without sacrificing too much luxury. It also meant that she didn’t have to go through several days before she could crash down in front of the television with a snack and watch useless shit.
Useless shit, as it turned out, was a news report already in progress: “Investigators are still looking into the death of mister Stevens, but the cause remains a mystery. Preliminary results seem to suggest an attack by a large animal, like a bear, or a pack of vicious wolves, but beasts like those have not been sighted in the area for generations. The police, however, is not excluding the possibility of murder. And now, for the weather.”
Kath switched the channel to some sitcom and began munching her lettuce, but her thoughts kept wandering to the incident, and in particular to the location: A forest not too far from the city her apartment was in.
She shook her head. Maybe she should just go out for the night. Peter, her flatmate, was at the pub just down the road with a few of his friends. She could hop over and say hi, meet new people -beside Peter, she knew no one in this city- and maybe gather some ideas to write about.
She turned off the television, put the bowl back in the fridge, and went to prepare herself.

After having settled on an outfit to wear and applying her makeup to satisfaction, Katherina took one final look in the mirror. She never found herself to be that good-looking, but some reason, all of her friends disagreed. She had brown, shoulder-length hair that framed her round face. A pair of large, vibrant blue eyes peered at her reflection above a nose that was slightly larger than she would’ve liked it to be. She did like her lips, though. They were slightly larger than average, without looking fake or bloated. As always, the thought put a smile on them.
She turned away from the mirror and took her purse and coat. After one last glance to see if she didn’t forget anything, she left the apartment.

“Hey! Good to see you could make it after all.” Peter said, after kissing Katherina’s cheek. “I thought you were going to get some writing done?”
Katherina shrugged and replied: “Writer’s block. Absolutely nothing on TV, either.”
“Well, you’re welcome to join us, obviously.”
Kath grabbed a chair from a nearby empty table and sat down with Peter and his friends.
“Guys, this is Katherina,” he introduced her. “Kath, this is Harry. He can be a bit nerdy at times, but don’t mind that.” He gestured towards a man with short, blonde hair, a goatee, moustache, and a pair of glasses. “There’s Amaya.” Next to Harry was sitting an Asian-looking girl who looked, well, Asian. Katherina made the mental note to try and think less racist. “But we call her Amy. Her parents are from Japan, but they moved here before she was born. She can kick your ass in about six different martial arts.”
“Seven” Amy corrected him.
“Remind me never to get on your bad side, then.” Kath said.
“And finally we have Gwen. Gwen doesn’t say much.” Gwen was pale, almost sickly so, and had long, black hair that managed to look both dyed and natural at the same time. She didn’t stop staring at her drink as she raised her hand wordlessly.
“Er… heya, I guess.”
“She’s hilarious when she does speak, though.” Peter added “Or creepy, depending on her mood.”
Katherina smiled at Peter. He was fairly good-looking. His hair was bound back in a short pony tail, revealing most of his clean-shaven face. His piercing blue eyes seemed to dance as he spoke, constantly jumping from settling on Kath’s to flitting across the room and back, as if he were nervous. Something the way he spoke and the things he said belied. Kath couldn’t help but have her focus shift constantly to his abnormally large nose, though. ‘Monumental’, her mother might’ve called it. That is, if her mother didn’t believe Kath was going to have wild, unprotected sex with the man every single night.

After a few minutes of idle chatting, Kath suddenly heard someone singing. She turned around and noticed there was a stage in the corner of the pub with a small band having set up there. A young woman, accompanied by a pianist, a guitarist and a violinist, was singing about love and the moon and some other things.
For some reason, Kath couldn’t look away from the singer. She seemed to be around Kath’s age -roughly 25- and she was tall and slender. Based on where the long dress left her tiny waist and fell around her hips, Kath imagined her legs going on forever, an assumption that came with matching arms, too. The dress itself was a deep, dark purple, and reached to the floor. A single sleeve ran down her right arm, flaring out widely from the elbow down. Her left arm and shoulder, in stark contrast, were completely bare. Her dirty-blonde hair was cut short and cut in a way that made it seemingly point at her right eye.
But it were her eyes which drew Kath’s attention the most. They were large, their irises a bright gold. They seemed almost animal-like to Kath. Her voice was low, almost growling at times, but she managed to reach the high pitches almost effortlessly.
Kath turned to Peter. “Who is she?”
“Linda, or Lydia, or something. I forgot her name. She sings here occasionally. She’s not bad, really. Gwen claims to know her.” Kath looked at Gwen and saw that she had shfited her gaze from her drink to the stage.
Kath sipped from her own drink and looked back to the stage herself. The singer had just finished a song and smiled at the half-hearted applause given her. As she looked around the crowd, her gaze suddenly rested on Kath’s, and lingered there, or so Kath believed. It was always a bit of an awkward feeling when she thought a performer made eye-contact with her.
The pianist began playing a few nots, and the singer smiled. Kath noticed something off about her smile, or her teeth, or something. She tried not to dwell on it and tore her gaze away from the singer as she resumed singing, closing her eyes to do so.
Her companions -with the exception of Gewn- were looking at her with grins of their own.
“What?” She asked.
“Oh, nothing” Harry said. “Just, you know. It’s cute, the way you’re enjoyed the show.”
“I just like talented people, that’s all. No need to go look for anything behind it.”
“Oh, you like her all right. Can’t blame you, either. She’s not bad looking, and she has an… interesting voice. What do you say, Pete?”
“I say maybe we should change the subject” Peter replied, noticing that Kath was rolling her eyes. “Not sure about you, Harry, but I’m not a gossiping teen any more.”
“Fine, then. What were we talking about, again?”
“Not important!” Amaya interjected, staring at the smartphone in her hand. “Apparently another one got killed nearby. They say it was wild animals, but there’s no wild animals around here. No mention of a zoo breakout anywhere on the web, either. Crazy stuff.”
“Yeah, I caught that on the news before I came over.” Kath added. “Wait, you said another one?”
Amaya looked up and replied: “Yeah, a few weeks ago, someone got torn to shreds. All they found was his arms and bits of his head still attached to what was left of his ribcage. Everything else was just… gone. Kinda gruesome, really.” She continued tapping at her phone, presumably looking for more bits of data on the news. Katherina turned back to the singer. Definitely something wrong with her teeth, she noted, then turned back to the drink in front of her.

Things I Still Lack Confidence For.

-Tell friends.
-Tell my parents.
-Tell people I don’t know that well but who really should know.
-Wear make-up at home.
-Wear make-up when leaving the house.
-Wear women’s clothes.
-Leave the house in women’s clothes.
-Wear anything that shows my bare legs.
-Stop assuming people don’t like me as a rule. Be less socially paranoid in general.
-Be photographed. Note: if I like the photographer
-Wear swimwear, or go swimming.
-Ask a girl out to her face, if at all.
-Be more open with my opinions. Give compliments or say it if I have an issue with something. Especially vocally.
-Speak more in general. When I do have the word, don’t let myself get cut off when interrupted.
-Dance when others are watching.
-Sing when others are listening.
-To be continued

We’ll get there.

[Poem] Untitled

They say she never laughs, but I can see her eyes smile when her lips would never curl.
Even as she cries, those eyes hold joy. Her sorrow can’t drown the secret she hides from those who do not seek it.
Her gates, which have been barred, imprisoned her emotions, in captivity building up, but never could burst open.
Numb, yet unbroken; rage nor sorrow woken; love, desire never spoken; joy and laughter only token.
Now gates’ key has been discovered, opening wide and free; emotions old and new flooding out and covering her, drowning her with their weight.
Now, she enjoys her hatred and loves her sorrow, feeling bliss when the tears roll down her cheeks, and I never see her lips curl, but her eyes, no lies they speak. 

[Tag pending] Relationships

Disclaimer: The following is one of the most personal pieces I’ve written. I’m not ashamed of anything in there, but at places it can go rather deep. I think. I’ve never been good at judging how other people might react to these kinds of stuff. I also get… descriptive at times, and the whole thing might come off as emo and whiny. If any of those bother you, I suggest skipping this one.
The she and the someone I refer to is not a single real person. She’s partly a composite of memories spread over various past relationships and one-week-stands, with my own fantasies filling in some of the gaps.

I’m weird. No, seriously, I am.  Prime example: I never get anything done when I play songs of which I know the lyrics by heart, yet I can’t resist playing them while trying to get a blog post written.
Another one: In bed, those nights I vainly attempt to catch some sleep, I imagine myself in a conversation-turning-monologue with people I know as way of ordering my thoughts and opinions on a certain subject. Last night, for example, I imagined such a conversation that turned into me ranting about why I miss being in a relationship. I don’t quite remember it verbatim, but I’ll try to reconstruct it in a single, readable text. Anyway, here goes:

I don’t think I miss sex. Maybe because of the fact that I find any form of intimacy involving a penis to be off-putting, I don’t know. But I have always found someone else touching the wretched thing to be uncomfortable more than pleasant. Maybe it’s my own lack of experience, or the fact that I find vanilla sex to be a rather dull concept… Whatever the case, I’m not ashamed to admit that the only thing on the planet that has brought me to orgasm thus far is my left hand. Nor am I ashamed to admit that while I don’t find sex all that appealing, I do enjoy orgasms, although since November, I feel the need for them waning.

 No, what I do miss is intimacy. Sharing my bed, life and plight with someone who cares deeply about me. Having endless text message conversations about absolutely nothing, yet being giddy every time my phone beeps.
I miss foreplay; surrendering to passionate lust where you don’t care if it wrecks the bed or not. I miss the sheer primal joy of having someone nibble my ear, or bite my shoulder, or run her nails along my side. I miss running my hands all over someone’s body: caressing her face, messing up her hair, playing with her breasts, stroking her thighs… I could have an entire night just foreplay, then fall asleep in her arms.
I miss being connected to someone on an almost subconscious level, thinking about them whenever I have room for an idle thought, wondering how they are and if they think of me sometimes as well. You know, if they want to.
I miss the drive a relationship gives. I miss the motivation to, say, get rid of my body hair regularly, rather than just covering everything up. Or another reason to pick up my life and take it to the next phase, rather than lingering in the current one for much longer than I should. Not necessarily things she asks of me, but things I suddenly find more important because my life is suddenly partly hers now.
For more than three years now, all this and more I’ve been missing.

Not that I blame anyone. I’m an unemployed transsexual in the middle of her transition who lives with her mother. I’m also not the most socially skilled of people. While casual conversation comes much easier than a few years ago, expressing my feelings or my interest to someone is still difficult and awkward and hampered by my undying fear of rejection. A fear not at all unfounded, given that I am what I am.
Yet despite all the great and wonderful changes in my life, this still gnaws at me. I can’t seem to get over it, and with my emotions being all over the place, I can’t help but feel the need to vent about it. 

And if anyone says this was too whiny, I think I’ll just blame hormones.

~Hel

Quite possibly the most important moment of my life.

The following has already been copy/pasted on several forums. I felt it deserved a place here, too.

As some of you already know, I’m a transsexual. I’ve been in therapy trying to start the transition procedure for close to a year. Earlier today I’ve had another session with my and shrink said that other than an overful schedule, there isn’t really any reason anymore not to go see the psychiatrist who will officially diagnose me and give me the prescriptions I need to start hormone treatment.

Needless to say, this is an announcement I have been waiting for for quite some time, and in many ways it marks the beginning of a next chapter in my life. Without doubt, in a few decades, when I look back on my life, I will think of the next few months as a milestone, where everything before now will be the life of Ty, the next few months he will begin to fade away and at the end of the run, only Helena will remain. This is a process that started about two years ago, when I started dressing as a girl, using that name among friends, and always ticked off the ‘female’ box in online surveys. My inner writer tells me to use this as a metaphor for growing up -which isn’t at all far-fetches as I’m closing in on my 22nd birthday.
What comes next will be an emotional rollercoaster. I will be given drugs that will greatly reduce my natural creation of testosterone, and replace it with estrogen. In many ways I will go through a second puberty as my body adapts to the new chemicals, just like a young girl’s body adapts: I will start growing breasts, my features will become more feminine, and there’s not a soul in the world who can tell me what I’ll feel emotionally.

I’ve heard of transsexuals who completely lost their drive during the period after they started on testosterone blockers and before they started taking estrogens. Some become depressed. Others are not affected at all. Some completely lose interest in what fascinated them before they started the treatment and pick up completely different hobbies. Quite a few transsexuals consider themselves gay within their ‘chosen’ gender, only to start developping feelings for the gender they came from, turning bi or even straight as time goes on. This is rare, but it happens. And when it does, I’m willing to accept it.
Also, mood-swings. Those are almost a certainty.

What is one hundred percent certain, though, is that my fertility is gone. The hormones have a serious and irreversable effect on the viability of my sperm cells as early as the first month, and even if I were able to make babies before the eventual operation, that’s no longer an option afterwards, since there is no way to transplant a live uterus and ovaries into another body. I have to decide now if I want to freeze sperm now in case I ever change my mind and do want kids (and remain gay), or rely on adoption.

What is certain, though, is that this transition period will be have the biggest impact on my life. Every other ‘big’ choice that I will make can be changed, with varying degrees of difficulty: if I find that my studies aren’t for me, I can do something else. If I take a job I don’t like, I can apply to another. If I buy a house or an appartment that’s more trouble than it’s worth, I can move. If I find a partner and things don’t work out, we can separate. The only other decision I might take that is equally irreversible is having children. Once I start taking hormones, my body will make irreversible changes. This is a point of no return. The idea frightens me. What comes ahead frightens me. The reaction of people who don’t know yet, or do know but haven’t accepted it yet, frightens me. But I’m prepared to face it all and start taking my first steps into the rest of my life.

~Helena

My Mass Effect 3 Wishlist.

Warning: Yet another gaming topic incoming. Also, the following contains a shitload of Mass Effect 2 (and some Mass Effect 1) spoilers. Read at your own risk.

I wanted to do a Dragon Age II wishlist, but I’ve been following its development so closely for so long, I already know enough about it to make such a list obsolete. Mass Effect 3, however, is still months away from release, and ME2, while a great game, still has room for improvement. So here goes:

1: Skippable introduction cutscene.

I haven’t finished every BioWare game I own. More specifically, I haven’t finished Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. However, I did START every BioWare game several times, because they all have amazing replayability. Having said that, though, one of the things that ticked me off about ME2 was the fact that I can not in any way skip the introduction cutscene. It was awesome the first time I watched it. It was boring the third-time-and-onward. Now I go take a piss whenever it’s playing. This does not mean, however, that any moment in the game where the player thinks taking a piss is preferred over sitting and watching isn’t bad design.
And it’s not like it’s amazingly difficult to make a cutscene skippable: Every other cutscene in the game is.
Which brings us to:

2: Skippable company logo thingies.

I know BioWare made the game, and I know EA publishes it. I do not need to be reminded every time I start the game. Thank you.

3: Realistic run-with-gun animations.

BioWare sort of dropped the ball here in both games. When you’re carrying a gun, and you run around, you generally don’t aim it forward, and you don’t hold it raised to eye-level and continually look down its sights. This posture should be reserved for when you ‘zoom’ in to an over-the-shoulder view to take aim. When you don’t, Shepard (or any character, for that matter) should be seen holding their rifle or shotgun lowered, pointing sideways. Handguns and SMGs should be pointed upwards or downwards when idle or running. The sprint animation is perfect. If coding new animations is too hard, the run animation could be a slowed-down version of the sprint animation.
This especially peeved me off when holding a sniper rifle: Shepard is shown as constantly looking through the scope while running with it, which is not only tiring for the arms like with the other weapons, but also hampers the view considerably: scopes pick one spot a fair distance away -usually someones face- focusses in on that, and ignores everything else. It quite litterally gives you tunnel vision, which is amazingly useful if you want to blow someone’s head off, but not so much when you’re running across a battlefield with gunfire and explosions everywhere.
Speaking of animations:

4: Give female Shepard a different set of animations.

The animations for the male and female models for Shepard are a simple copy/paste. Female Shepard walks like a man, runs like a man, stands like a man, and -and this is the worst of them all- sits like a man.

There's a reason women don't sit like this.

I’ve heard (or rather, read) theories that this is done to make female Shepard come off as a strong and independent woman, but I call bullshit on that. Crossing your legs and holding your hands on your lap isn’t a sign of weakness and insecurity, it’s a sign of grace. ‘Feminine’ doesn’t mean ‘weak’. Anyone who says so is, in my opinion, sexist.
Personally, I think the lack of female animations is an example of ‘the animator got lazy’, which is a bad excuse.

5: Allow me to buy and sell resources.

I’m one of those weird people who actually enjoyed the resource-collection mini-game and the upgrade system they put in the second game. However, few things are more annoying while mining for resource A than sitting on a huge stockpile of resource B and only finding spikes of resource B. What I would’ve liked is a system where I can sell excess resources, and buy resources I’m short on. I don’t mind this being done with the classical RPG diminishing-returns economy (where I can sell X of something for Y currency, and buy X of the same for Z currency where Y<Z) as long as that huge stockpile of Palladium (it’s always Palladium) is USEFUL! Also, Element Zero is rare, both in the game, as well as in the story (with Eezo-smuggling being a common theme among criminal organizations). It would help immersion a great deal if it was worth a ton more than the other three resources, both in selling and buying it. Paragon Shepard could sell to, I dunno, the Alliance, and in return count on Alliance support during the final stages of the game, while Renegade Shepard could sell to the black market for muchos moolas.

6: MORE customizability.

I loved the fact you could change the appearance and functionality of your basic armour (and consequently wondered why BioWare bothered with static, unchanging DLC armour). I think it’d be great if something like this was extended to your weapons and your ship. For examply, you could replace the standard scope on sniper rifles with  an infrared scope, a scope that picks up electronic signatures of mechs, a scope that reads biotic potential, allowing you to see priority targets before a battle starts, etc. Kinetic Stabelizers would diminish recoil on automatic weapons.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think the ME1 inventory system can die in a fire (which, apparently, it did), but one thing I did like is the fact that you could -on a very basic level- customize your weapons by limiting the upgrade slots. The upgrade system in ME2 is very nice, but also awfully binary: either you had an upgrade, or you didn’t. There wasn’t much choice involved. Choosing between weapons, rather than weapon upgrades, worked, because each weapon handled differently (do I pick the automatic assault rifle, or the assault rifle that fires in three-shot bursts, but is more precise?), however I believe that making an interactive upgrade system that allows you to custom-tailor your weapons to your own personal taste can be amazingly fun.
Or they could screw it up horribly, and it’ll suck. Either one.

7: A Danger Room on the Normandy.

Featuring mechs with weapons that stun, rather than kill, if you want an in-world explanation for why it wouldn’t kill. A training simulation that can be done repeatedly to try out your new, customized weapons.

8: Space Combat.

We already briefly took control of Joker before. Why not again when he’s flying the ship? In the middle of a fight with other ships? This is where customizing the Normandy can come in. Do I pick shields that are effective against energy-based weapons, or kinetic barriers that withstand explosions? What kind of weapons do I use? Do I paint the ship pink or orange? That sort of in-depth, tactical decisions.

9: More varied ground combat situations.

ME2 combat is heaps more streamlined than ME1 combat, but all of it still pretty much plays out the same: You run around a predetermined path, and kill EVERYONE in your way. More variety would be nice. I could ask for multiple ways to play a mission, but I know the chances of that happening are slim. Instead it would be nice to have some missions where you have to, say, infiltrate a base, and actively trying to avoid guards (or silently taking them down) is a viable option. Or missions with lots of close-quarter combat that makes Vanguards shine.
There are a few places in ME2 where you could either fight on the ground, or climb up a balcony and shoot from there. More of those, please.
Also, bigger fights. ME1 and 2 feature Shepard as the leader of a commando squad in an environment where everyone is hostile, all the time. What I’d like to see are bigger battles. You will most likely end up working for either Cerberus, a pro-human organization with, quote, ‘near unlimited resources’ (For the record, I hate the term ‘near unlimited’ with a fiery passion) or the Human System Alliance, and, by extention, the Citadel Council, the most powerful political body in the Galaxy, yet you always fight alone. Even the crew of your ship who are trained for combat, but aren’t high-profile companions never leave to get their feet wet. A few large-ish battles with two sides fighting each other and your squad only being *part* of one of the sides would be nice.

10: Don’t make Paragon ‘good’ and Renegade ‘evil’.

In ME2, Renegade simply meant ‘dick’ on too many occasions.
Or ‘sociopath’ on others.
I dislike morality meters in RPGs, but I liked Paragon and Renegade because it was never intended to be black and white. However, the direction of some Renegade choices in ME2 seem to steer towards the wrong way, and I hope they turn it around in ME3.
Keep the cybernetic implant scars for Renegade, though. They look awesome. Especially on green eyes.

11: More Snark!

You know you want to.

12: More Suicide Mission!

What I mean by this is, more missions like the Suicide Mission at the end of ME2. You have a whole squad of highly-trained specialists, yet you only use two at a time. During the Suicide Mission, you assigned members of your team you don’t take with you to various tasks: send the tech expert to hack something, the biotic-gifted one to erect a shield, an experienced leader to lead, etc. The outcome of the mission changed based on who you sent to do what task. More of this please. I’m not saying making the wrong decision would mean someone dies, but more stuff like amount of enemies spawning, amount of resources gained, number of people saved, support of faction A and/or B gained, etc could all be affected by who you pick for which tasks.

13: Don’t call it loyalty

In ME2, your companions had a ‘loyalty’ status that would switch from ‘normal’ to ‘loyal’ if you completed their side-mission (or loyalty-mission, as they are referred to on the BioWare forums). Loyal characters have less chance of dying during the Suicide Mission, and making a character loyal also unlocks a unique power for them. This is all fine and dandy, but during conversations with the characters, they don’t seem any more or less loyal to Shepard, or any more or less willing to die for the cause. What they are is focussed on the mission. Which is exactly what I suggest this status’ name should be changed to: Focus.

14: Companions

The heart and soul of any BioWare games, it’s companions. They all have unique personalities, their own backstories, and quirks we all love. And I think we have enough of them.
ME1 had six companions, and no matter what you did, four or five always survive. Two of them rejoin Shepard in ME2, joined by ten new ones, creating a total of sixteen established characters. Now, personally, while I think it’s a nice touch that ‘any character can die’ in ME2, it creates a huge mess when determining who joins your team in ME3. Mainly because not only can any character die, almost every character can die. People have tried and succeeded in completing the game with only two companions alive. For me this is reason to assume that most of them might be scrapped as companions and replaced either with new characters, or with people we already know, but weren’t companions before. Following is a list of all previous companions and why I think they might or might not return (if they survive).

-Wrex: If he survives, he returns to the Krogan homeworld to try and rebuild it, becoming the chieftain of one of the biggest Krogan clans out there. Because of this I don’t think he’ll return as a companion, even though I’d like him to.
-Garrus: If he survives, he’ll be there. Trust me. Garrus’ fate is tied to Shepard’s, mainly because he has nowhere left to go. I also have reason to believe he will have a scripted death scene, and that it will be epic.
-Tali: Can be exiled from her home, based on your decisions. Because of this, I’m fairly sure she’ll stick to Shepard.
-Liara: Is the Shadow Broker now. Might be too busy to join Shepard as an active squad member, but will very likely play a big role regardless.
-Ashley/Kaidan: One of them is dead. The other one hates Cerberus and blames it all on you. However, I think Shepard will be presented with a choice between the Alliance and Cerberus early on in the game and, if the Alliance is picked, the survivor of this duo might very well rejoin Shepard.
-Miranda/Jacob: Will very likely be the Cerberus companions in the above-mentioned choice. Or rather Miranda will be. I think (fear) Jacob will join you regardless.
-Zaeed/Kasumi: Are DLC-only characters. Because of that, there’s a chance they won’t even be mentioned.
-Mordin: has a high-chance of returning. I don’t see why not (unless he died)
-Jack: Will probably have run off to do her own thing.
-Grunt: Becomes part of the Urdnot clan during his personal mission. I believe he will join you as a representative if Wrex survives, but has to stay on Tuchanka if Wrex is dead. Maybe.
-Thane: Is most likely dead. He had less than two years to live in ME2, and I’m assuming there’s quite a bit of time between the two games.
-Samara/Morinth: Buggered off.
-Legion: Will most likely stay on as representative to the Geth.

Other characters I think are possibilities are Kal’Reegar, Aria, Shiala and Kirrahe.

Ofcourse, with the exception of Liara and Aria, ALL of these characters can die at one point or another, making companions a very difficult balancing act for BioWare. To be honest, I’d prefer it if they’d retcon people dying in ME2 over bringing in an all-new crew.

15: Don’t exclude Jack Wall

A bit ago, it was announced that Clint Mansell was due to compose the music for Mass Effect 3, which, one would assume, is wonderful news. However, the guy who made the music for the first two games, Jack Wall, has done an amazing job and has created a sound that is very Mass Effect. My point being, don’t diss Mansell, but don’t diss Wall either. I firmly believe that these two working together can create a score that is both amazingly epic and amazingly Mass Effect.

And that was my wishlist. BioWare will have to try really hard to screw up ME3, and I’ll probably play it regardless, but if they included even a few of these, I’ll be amazingly happy.

My Dear Mother

Buying flowers would be too much work to
get them in here safely
Chocolates would be gone before they
Reach you safely
I thought of buying a record but
Which one? Can’t say safely
That leaves making things myself.
You know how good I am at making things, so
The only things I CAN make are texts
In this case, a lame excuse for a poem.
We had a hard time, you more then me
Not to mention number three
At times we’re more then you can handle
But you handle us either way.
I’m grateful for that and the same shit
You do every day.
So I’m sorry I didn’t show up with anything better then this.
It’s got my love and know that it is
Something I did with gratitude
For all you do for us.
I love you and I
Thank you

Thank you

Androgyne

I am man

I am the rock that stands in the undertow.
I am strength for those that weaken.
I watch over those that need protection.
And in doing so, I give myself.

I am woman

I am in love with all that cares.
I am gentle to the kind.
I want the world to feel love.
And in doing so, I give myself.

I am both

Best of two genders combined.
And worse of both are with me.
My soul is Andros and Gyne together.
But my body only can have one.
And in feeling this, I search for myself.

I am neither

I never have been a real boy.
A girl I never will be.
Now I’m at the dawn of my maturity.
And in knowing this, I lose myself.

With time as my companion and faith in my own zeal.
I must go on and search for truth.
And on each day I fight for the love I do not have.
And on each day, I ask myself.

Who am I?