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Cause and Effect 42
Corporal Shepard's first impression of her new home port, Arcturus Station, was not a good one. Arcturus might be a wonder of engineering and space-proof design, a benchmark in human expansion into deep space, but it still did not feel remotely natural. In fact, it was as foreign as Mars to a Mindoiran, as the old saying went. She knew space stations, she spent a certain amount of time on them during any given year; it was part of being a spacer. Being here was not a novel experience. Far from it.
What was novel was staying on the station or more than a day or a few hours. Taking the rapid transit shuttle-to the commissary, or walk down several hallways to get to the NEX for small household necessities-was novel.
No sky, no fresh air, no weather-just tubes and tunnels.
Taking note of the laundromat, the clinic, the racquetball courts all made her feel as though she were some sort of alien, foreign to the station, as she tried to remember which tubes ran where, which tunn
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Cause and Effect 41
Shepard's stomach quivered with anxious expectation as she approached her new posting, the SSV El Alamein, based out ofArcturus Station. With a shuffling of Midway's command structure, and the retirement of the commanding officer, Shepard was not the only one transferred to a new crew. Some complained quietly about the breaking up the team, but Shepard was not one of them. This was a golden opportunity. Her only gloomy thought was that O'Conner wouldn't be there to share the adventure, though Shepard used that word only loosely, even within her own mind.
This was a job, not an adventure. Some said it was a calling; they were soldiers, not 'adventuring hero-types'.
"State you name and business," the voice crackled over the radio, the crisap command a sharp contrast from Mission Coordinator Jefferson's drawl.
"Corporal J. Shepard, transferring to SSV El Alamein from SSV Midway. Requesting permission to come aboard," Shepard addressed the airlock at large. Sometimes it
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Cause and Effect 40
Shepard could no more have missed the Commander walking out of the NEX than ignore flashing red emergency lights, and a klaxon calling her to her action station. Even less likely was not recognizing the now-Commander Ludmilla Robbins. Sure enough, it was Robbins striding briskly towards the doors. Shepard saluted crisply, wondering if she still looked like the same frightened girl who'd left teeth marks in Robbins' glove upon rescue.
Robbins saw the corporal snap to, then did a double take as she saluted back. Robbins slowed her walk, gazing at the corporal's eyes. It wasn't possible for her to be here! It wasn't possible for her to be a corporal, either…unless she had both shown extreme aptitude. And there was the N patch on her uniform.
But eyes didn't lie, and the little slip of Mindoiran survivor had had distinctive eyes: a shade neither blue, nor green, but startlingly luminous in artificial light. Especially when popping with terror, or overwhelmed by circumstanc
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Cause and Effect 39
Shepard's fingers worked at lightning speed, her omni-tool beeping, the lights on the display flashing as she worked. The instructor for this aptitude and placement test noticed her only because, of all those finish their first level of N-training (which equated to a sort of special ops basic), she was the quietest.
Most would swear at the problem by now. Not that they could solve it, but they did not know that.
Looking closer at the thin face, the calm aura of determination which seemed to resonate around her in palpable form, the instructor found himself not so sure of this. If she knew the problem was unsolvable at her level, it would account for the unusual show of calm.
This test not 'what can you do', or 'what do you know', it was 'how do you cope, when you don't know what to do'. She was either crazy, or on a very even keel.
He pulled up her file, words jumping out at him. Mindoir. No living relatives. Psychological risk factor: 7.
That had slowly downgraded from
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Cause and Effect 38
--I Can't--
Shepard sat on the examination table, arm in a sling, her expression pale as the doctor looked at her speculatively. Two days before she had come in, guided by an instructor, struggling not to show she was in pain. A training accident, hardly life threatening, but certainly painful. A toggle pulled loose from the climbing rig unexpectedly, snapping back to slammed first into her collarbone, then jerking her around as the rig failed.
It would have been worse if she had not displayed enough presence of mind to worry about her safety rather than the equipment. Rather than panic, as many would have done, she had simply cut herself loose of the harness, which had dropped her some distance to slam into the unforgiving ground.
The doctor could not say so, of course, but given the fact she had not broken any bones in her ankle or legs indicated she had remembered further training, this lesson from basic, how to fall. The days of parachutists might be fairly well over, but the pa
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Cause and Effect 37
--Give Up--
Shepard sat in the screening room, hating the man behind the desk almost as much as she hated any live batarian that presented itself before her eyes. He was an egghead, which, coming from a self-proclaimed geek-nerd, was a real slam. Geek-nerds could function in society, or in the face of harsh realities in real life. Eggheads needed carefully monitored environments, predictable stimuli. They couldn't think outside their beloved white, featureless box.
It was why they usually wound up asking people how they felt.
Which was why so many people hated them.
Right now, he was paying more attention the datapad than to her.
"What do you mean?" Her voice came out level, but on the inside she felt like doing nothing so much as hissing and spitting. Making a scene, because she heard perfectly well what he said.
I don't think you're suitable.
Well, here was to people who could think, but Shepard had no intention of letting them turn her application for initial evaluation away. Not
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Cause and Effect 36
Shepard sat at a workstation after her shift, silent and focused. The general aura she cast indicated clearly she did not want anyone to talk to her, did not want anyone to look at her, did not want anything except to be left completely and totally alone. Like she already was. Her eyes burned as she worked steadily, almost obsessively, her pale face rendered ghastly by the light of the screen.
For once, Fitzpatrick the cat was not lying beneath her chair sleeping or waiting for her to finish her work and pay him some attention.
Shepard's mouth thinned, trying to stop her eyes from stinging. It wound up a pointless exercise.
Valen, the rescued turian child, behaved beautifully for the human crew, right up until the time the turian delegates met with the Captain to take the child into custody. Valen and Fitz began to panic: Valen at losing the cat, the cat at being separated from the child.
Shepard knew Fitz belonged to a turian originally. She never expected him to want
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Cause and Effect 35
Shepard stopped in at the medical bay once her shift was over. Fitzpatrick the cat had evidenced his disgust with her non-appreciation of his concern for her by keeping his distance, past giving her ankles a brush with his kitty shoulders as she returned.
He took her lack of a proper and highly edible peace offering as a personal affront, reminding her of the feline disposition towards opportunism.
Right now, however, Fitz lay curled up and purring, locked in the arms of the little turian-Valen. Curled on one side, his breathing even, the turian slept under a careful dose of sedatives administered by Dr. Greenwood. "How's he doing?" Shepard asked.
"You're the third person to ask me that so far. He's fine-a little shell shocked, a little upset, but he'll live," Dr. Greenwood answered crisply.
Shepard sighed, wondering who would have to tell the child his parents were dead, and when the terrible news would have to fall. In a vein Shepard called cowardly, she hoped ferven
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Cause and Effect 34
"That's going to be a tight fit," Gunnery Chief Arbor noted, looking at the damaged airlock. Ten minutes of pounding, shouts of 'Alliance marines', and an attempt by Shepard to hack the shipboard computers had failed. Shepard was shocked, computers usually had a usually back door protocol for such rescues. Whatever was going on inside the wreck, the computer did not work. She should not be surprised, being already surprised that the heap had survived.
"That is tight…" Matheson shook his head.
Shepard stepped up onto the ship, climbing it like a rock wall at a gym. "I can get in." With that she shrugged off her weapon harness, dropping it to the ground, though holding onto her rifle.
"Be careful," Arbor nodded.
Shepard did not respond to this. With a grunt and a lot of wiggling, as though trying to pull on a very tight pair of pants, Shepard worked her way through the gap, praying the whole while she would not get hung up.
Arbor, despite his best efforts not to ant
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Cause and Effect 33
--Last Hope--
In her time on the SSV Midway, Shepard had seen plenty of things that made her nauseous: death, destruction and batarians blinking menacingly at her. She'd seen things that scared her: rifles and whatnot leveled in her direction, mortar shells zooming around, creepy ghost ships drifting through the space of the Attican Traverse.
She had not found herself stuck shipside while the Midway blasted away at enemy ships. Wedged into her action station, with Fitzpatrick the cat hissing and whining under her seat, his claws hooked into the leg of her trousers, Shepard struggled with gritted teeth not to imitate him. She would rather face the rifles. Getting spaced was not something she wanted to learn about firsthand.
No one expected, when intercepting a panicked distress call from a civilian ship, to see it crash right in front of them. Even if there were survivors, the current predicament – commonly accepted to be mercenaries out of the Terminus Systems – of a space
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Cause and Effect 32
Shepard sat leaning against a bank of lockers aboard the SSV Midway, Fitzpatrick the cat curled up asleep in her lap. One pale hand gently smoothed the cat's now silky smooth fur. Even after living a lifestyle of good eating and general pampering by most of the crew, he never got much bigger than when they found him, though his ribs no longer showed through his coat. He no longer showed a tendency to bite, nor did he apparently feel the need to attack people's ankles, except on special occasions.
He did not like sharing his food, but he had gotten more complacent about people other than Shepard or O'Conner petting him. All in all, he adapted very quickly to life amongst a human crew, and the crew adapted quickly to having a cat.
Aggrieved cries by unsuspecting crewmen of 'cat!', 'O'Conner!' or 'Shepard!' were almost unnecessary most days. Threats to field dress the cat and leave him out for varren on the nearest rock were wholly unnecessary anymore. The cook still liked to
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Cause and Effect 31
Private Shepard sat in the darkest, dingiest dive she could find, glaring into her empty glass as feelings of resentment, frustration, guilt and pain swirled like a toxic miasma. All around her were nameless faces, nameless people doing the same thing she would have liked to do.
Drowning their sorrows in cheap, loud-smelling booze. Drowning themselves if they found someone to take home for the night. Hiding the fact they were drowning again, and looking for life buoys here because they did not know where else to look.
The depressive atmosphere of the place-of what she attributed to this place-suited Shepard, even if she knew it would only drag her further down. The image of O'Conner's dead body refused to come off the backs of her eyelids. The sounds of the funeral in space echoed in her ears.
And worst of all, she could almost imagine O'Conner sitting across from her.
How do you know, though? Did you just go out and try it, to see?
And now she was drowning in de
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Cause and Effect 30
Shepard swallowed hard, her mind blank as a freshly laundered sheet, hanging limply on the line. A person saw death as a marine-friends, enemies, teammates, the kid who'd just climbed on the boat, the poor bastard who was unlucky enough to hit dirt ahead of everyone else.
The poor bastard. No one wanted to be that person. And despite the moniker, no one meant it as an insult, merely a name to hold back disappointment or shock at how a person could be alive and shouting one minute, then stare glassily into nothing the next.
Shepard closed her eyes. The image of O'Conner's helmet, riddled with shrapnel and spattered on the inside with blood haunted her. And what about the sweetheart O'Conner recently admitted to having? How was Shepard supposed to find him, she only had a first name. A first name and no posting, though she knew he was a pilot.
Not a lot to go on.
"We therefore commit the earthly remains of Gina C. O'Conner to the void, looking for the general Resurrection i
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Cause and Effect 29
"All right kids, come on back home now," Mission Coordinator Jefferson drawled over the helmet radios, his Australian accent thick, but something the ground team was used to hearing. "You've got fifteen before it gets a little warm out there."
With most of the mercenaries forced to bunker down in their base, the two strike teams pullingback as quickly as they could, getting out of the range of fire when Midway and Alamo unleashed their plasma cannons. Going was slower than they would have liked, with two of the team having taken minor injuries, one of which impeded mobility.
Over the sounds of running and the muffled sounds of her own heavy breathing Shepard suddenly heard the 'pop-pop-pop' of three round bursts, followed by further fire. "Hey! We've got shots fired!" She called along the radios.
"And they're getting closer!" O'Conner called back, slowing her run even as the rest turned to look towards the thick jungles of the equatorial band. A world with an atmosphere wi
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Cause and Effect 28
--Deep Thoughts--
The music at the only club catering to enlisted servicemen pulsed and throbbed. As was Shepard's custom, she sat with a drink and a couple now-empty fruit skewers as far away from the blasting music as she could get. Rather than toying with her omni-tool-and partly to give O'Conner a reason to make faces at her-she sat with a logic puzzle before her, deep in thought.
This one was difficult, especially with all the distractions around her. Fortunately, Shepard enjoyed a challenge. The realm of deep thought blocked out most of the music, making the noise level bearable. O'Conner never gave up trying to thrust Shepard into the realm of 'having fun'.
For the past six months or so, O'Conner had actually been running hot and cold with regards to going out looking for the ever-elusive concept of 'fun' every time they hit Yamamoto Naval Station. Tonight was party business as usual, and they were heading out into the Traverse in a couple days. It seemed to Shepard O'Conner
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Cause and Effect 27
--Seeking Solace--
Gina O'Conner was not surprised when the buzzer on her apartment went off at an unearthly hour. Only one person would ever come see her this late at night. Fortunately, O'Conner had expected this unannounced visit. Abandoning this month's issue of Evenston's Firearms, O'Conner walked over to the door.
"Heya Shepard." O'Conner waved Shepard into the apartment, standing aside as she did so.
"You're not busy?" Dressed as she was, it was painfully obvious Shepard had not wakened O'Conner, despite the late hour. Last year Shepard and O'Conner were on duty, in space when Shepard's birthday rolled around. At the time Shepard gave the impression of not wanting anyone's company so O'Conner, for once, had left Shepard well enough alone. But they were closer friends now, so Shepard's presence indicated.
"Nah, just reading Guys with Guns."
Shepard gave a tired sigh that might have been a laugh. "Sorry it's so late."
"Nah, have a seat," O'Conner waved to the small table locate
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Raven Studios
United States
Current Residence: The Middle of Nowhere
Favourite genre of music: Almost anything, but rap
Shell of choice: I like pink and orange conches!
Favourite cartoon character: Wile E. Coyote (As long as he doens't talk.)
Personal Quote: When writer's block strikes...hire a bulldozer. It's all you can do.
I will be taking a break from DA, but I will continue publishing on FF.Net. Life is making time hard to come by.


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Camicadf Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2016  Student Artist
I've sent it on Fanfiction, but anyway, here it goes!

About the Oblivion fanfic, "The Gatewalker"

"First of all: English is not my mother language, so please forgive any grammar mistakes!

What can I say? It's been a month since I read this fic, and I still can't let it go from my mind.
It's 2016, and I played Oblivion only this year (yeah, I'm really really late), as soon as I finished the game I started my mission to find cool fics about it (specially with Martin Septim) And all of them were the same... They described the game with a cool OC, and then, Martin dies, just like the game, exactly like the game, and life goes on for the OC, like nothing happened (god dammit! Martin Septim died, how can life go on like nothing happened?!)
But your fic... Oh, your fic! It's by far the best fic I ever saw. As I said, it's been a month, and I just can't let it go from my mind. Every time I think about Ailirah and Martin my heart warms a little. I can't imagine any other Champion of Cyrodiil with Martin anymore, it's just Ailirah and him, and no one else can take her place. (Everyone imagines their original characters being the Champion of Cyrodiil while playing Oblivion, I just can't imagine my OC's anymore, it's just Ailirah, she is THE Champion for me)
The way you described the scenes, and the way you constructed the characters, their feelings and thoughts, it's perfect and beautiful.
Your story completely caught me (it's true! I'm Brazilian, English is not my mother language, but I've read all the pages of this story, one after one, desperately).
For you to see the power of the way you described the scenes: it was 4AM when I read the part when Martin sacrifices himself... And I cried, I cried like a child (and it's been a looooong time since the last time I've cried over a fictional character). I felt broken and ill just like Ailirah for almost a week, until I finish the fic, then I felt better (that's the real power of a well done first-person story).
No one else could describe the Oblivion characters as you did, it was a perfect work!
Well, I'm sorry for the long review, long story short: you are amazing! This fic is amazing! Keep on the fantastic work!

Last thing: there are two songs that makes me think about Martin and Ailirah all the time I listen to them, I'd like to share them with you:
'Empire' by Of Monsters and Men
'Goodbye My Lover' by James Blunt

I wish I could really say what I feel about this story... But my English is too poor ;-; and I don't have enough words to describe it in this language
I'm trying to do some fanarts of it (well... I'm failing miserably) but if I manage to do something, I'll try to post it on DA and show you... Ok?
If u write a book in the future, I'll totally buy it! Ok, I live in Brazil, but I'll manage to get it somehow!

Anyway! That's All! I'm sorry if all this text sounds crazy... But thank you for this amazing fic (again). Everyone should read your story (that way i would have more people to fangirl about it xD)"
PinkHappiness Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2012
Hey! I sent you a review the other day on LadyLionhart. I'm reading Forged in Darkness now (for the second time), hehe. It cracks me up <3
TerOgu Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Hehe, I've read your story, Forged in Darkness three times now. Never gets old!
BlackCrow95 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2011
I just wanted to say I finished reading your Forged in Darkness and I F'n LOVED it! I can't wait to get started on your other fics!
EverNightStudios Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011  Professional Writer
We all still miss you, dearie.
EverNightStudios Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2010  Professional Writer
martyr-of-musique Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2010
Hi, I'm not sure if you ever come on here anymore..(according to your journal)..but I'd like to say thanks for the wonderful fanfiction on've really brought the characters to life.
However, you have made one mistake that maybe you should go back and correct..
Sarielle gets harrassed by a certain dark elf - but I think you mean Alvas Uvani the Silencer with an allergy to honey..not Banus Alor, the speaker for Leyawiin. : )
CSupernova Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010
Raven-Studios Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2010
9FallenAngel6 Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2010
I really enjoyed reading your fanfiction Gatewalker on and it's cool that you're here,too! I'm looking forward to read new texts of you ;)

Keep on the good work!
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