Chapter 17:  Closing

Jack shut down. As always, when any pain became too much. When anything she witnessed was far too gruesome. When people she cared about, even remotely, died. She shut down. No tears, no emotion. No, whatever. It was, what it was. She spent some time with him once and now C-sec was scraping his brains off the floor. He was a traitor, he was stupid and he deserved what he got. But Jack didn’t really believe that.

She rejoined Hackett and her squad. Hackett thanked her, he didn’t know the extent of the relationship she had with the man but he believed that given what happened, if he had sent Alliance officers instead to apprehend him, it would have broken out into a gunfight. She saved lives. Jack declined his thanks, she just wanted to leave. Her and her squad would board the fifth fleet with Hackett. Commander Shepard was poised to assault the Cerberus headquarters and Hackett was ready to dedicate the full support of the fleets to do it. It was time to bring the fight directly to the enemy.

As the fifth fleet left the Citadel behind Jack watched the last few days of her life slip away. Pointless, recklessly abandoned, fun. It was ironic to her that it was what she wanted in the first place. The reckless fun without fear of commitment. But watching him die hurt like a son-of-a-bitch.

The fifth fleet reached the edge of the Widow system, each ship entered the flight path of the appropriate mass relay that would take them across the galaxy and into the region of space that was their destination. They would regroup on the other end and then as one force enter the controlled space of Cerberus headquarters. On the galaxy map, right before they made the faster than light jump through the relay, in the CIC Hackett viewed the impossible.

“The reapers… are assaulting the Citadel!” He exclaimed. As the seat of galactic power the Citadel was guarded by the largest fleet in the galaxy by a galactic coalition of forces committed by every major species in council space. But that fleet was now driven in retreat by the reapers.

“We have to go back.” His navigator said.

“No, it’s too late. The reapers are arriving in too much force. We have to stick to our current course of action.” Hackett said.

But “it’s too late” sounded too much to him like the famous last words of a soon to be dead Admiral. He didn’t have a choice anyhow. The fifth fleet was already through the Pax relay and in the Horse Head nebula and soon they would be too. Jack looked out the porthole of the bridge. She watched the swarm of reaper ships surround the Citadel like a dark cloud as the ship she stood on entered the mass relay and it all slipped behind her.

Seconds later they were through the Pax relay. The ship spun around and charged up its FTL drive and then made the jump. Jack waited there, standing for the few short hours that it would take to reach the Anadius system where Commander Shepard had tracked Cerberus down. The ship went on alert, officers scrambled around her. Everyone was at their battle-stations, battle ready and waiting for the ships to exit hyperspace. Just as Hackett had predicted the fighting began as soon as they arrived. The fifth fleet slowed to a stop and launched the first cannon volleys at the Cerberus fleet. They outmatched the enemy 10 to 1 in both size and numbers.

Jack watched the battle take place outside from the porthole. She’d always hoped that when Cerberus finally ate the dust that she would be there to witness the end. Now as she stood there in person, in reality, with the light of weapons fire glimmering off her face, she worried inside that it wouldn’t be enough.

 

Epilogue

Navigation: Chapter 1: Resistance Earth, Chapter 2: Grissom AcademyChapter 3: A Knife in The DarkChapter 4: Smoke and ShadowsChapter 5: Cold Revelation, Chapter 6: London Crypt, Chapter 7: Ghosts From Shadows Past, Chapter 8: Skyfall, Chapter 9: Apparatus Deus, Chapter 10: The Devil Within, Chapter 11: Hades’ Dogs, Chapter 12: Transhuman, Chapter 13: Phenomenon, Chapter 14: Aeon, Chapter 15: Endgames, Chapter 16: Fractured, Chapter 17: Closing, Epilogue.

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