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John Shepard

"Let's move Spartans."

0 · 301 views · located in Galaxy

a character in “Doom Wars”, as played by Bromander Shepard

Description

USC 117 Cmdr. John Shepard

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Name: USC 117 Commander John Shepard
Age: 27
Role: United Space Corps Lieutenant, Commander of the 13th regiment Marine Corps platoon "Spartans" aboard the USC Valhalla
Cybernetics: Lt. Shepard has received extensive gene therapy early on his military career as he began to stand out form the average trooper. The therapy he has undertaken has increased his strength, speed, agility, reflexes, metabolism, healing, auditory, visual senses to the peak of human potential. During his short time working Black Ops under Omega N7 Squadron, Shepard received further enhancements in the form of Heavy Bone Skeletal Lattice Weaving which reinforces the skeleton with a synthetic weave, bones can be made almost unbreakable. In the event of bone trauma, medi-gel conduits allow for bone regenerations in a matter of days. To supplement his peak physical strength allowed through his basic gene mods Shepard received a Heavy Muscle Microfiber Weave modifications to his muscular structure in which perforating the muscles with micro-fibers increases overall strength and decreases the potential for muscle damage from exertion granting him significantly enhanced strength past the standard human capabilities.
Appearance:

in armor
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Background: Born an orphan in a large metropolitan city on Earth John Shepards early life seemed pretty bleak. It was either a short life, cut down by one of the countless gangs that ran through the under privileged squalor where he grew up or beat the odds and make something of himself. It was then Shepard began a long career of doing the impossible. He kept his nose clean as best he could until he was old enough to enlist. In basic he proved himself to not only be a dutiful soldier but a gifted commander who refused to accept defeat and had an uncanny ability to inspire loyalty in those who served with him. Yet it was John's uncanny ability of survival that truly got him the attention of his superiors. When given men at his command Shepard could do the impossible and for that he was groomed for command early on. Only one thing ever slowed his meteoric rise in rank and that was a small snafu with an cadet he trained with who earned his trust only to betray it later on when it was discovered that she lied about her application putting Shepard in the compromising position of being brought before a military tribunal to answer questions about the incident. Despite the momentary hick up Shepard refused to allow this slip up to sully his reputation and career and accepted a long standing offer of promotion on a distant start ship. Their he thrived and quickly built a name for himself where, like in basic, he proved that time and time again when all else failed he didn't. He led his squad through hell and back and they loved him for it. After leaving his first starship he was assigned to black ops Omega N7 Squadron for deep space undercover operations. There he really got a taste for the hardest battle space had to offer and became built a skill base few can rival. While he was incredibly gifted in black ops Shepard had reservations about their invisible missions that were swept under the rug. After leaving black ops his most notable military accomplishment is the Battle of Serenity Valley where pinned down without rations, ammunition or reinforcements Lt. Shepard sustained minimal causalities to his unit while they staved of enemy assaults for the better part of a week. On the 6th day USN air support arrived to find not only the presumed dead Lieutenant alive but his squad none the worse for wear and the fortified location still in USC hands. Shepards heroics at the Battle of Serenity Valley has made Shepard something of a war hero to the other marines as well as the men and women back home. He has recently been transferred to the Valhalla where he has been put in command of the USC 13th regiment Marine Corps Platoon known as "The Spartans".
Personality: John is a military man through and through. He is a loyalist who not only believes in the USC but in what they represent. He advocates getting the job done right the first time and abhors cutting corners just to make things easier. While not one to bend to the political swaying of high brass he follows orders and expects the same out of his men. The hand full of times he has disobeyed orders were in order to either protect his squad or innocents which have only further enamored people to his reputation.
Quirks: Shepards few quirks involve his love of classical literature and poetry as well as his fascination with history in general. In particular he finds the western expansion of the United States and Viking lore particularly interesting.

So begins...

John Shepard's Story

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Character Portrait: John Shepard
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Alone in the crew quarters armory USC Marine 117 was surveying his weapons load out as well as the load outs of his entire squad should they meet hostile forces during the voyage. He went over his roster as he scanned the lockers. Ramirez, J. Barton, C, Cole, A. Watson, E. Sinclaire, O... The last name gave the Spartan CO pause as a face jumped to the fore front of his memory to attach itself to the name. The Commander pulled out his data pad and rifled through the dossiers on the Spartan roster until he hit the name he was searching for. The id photo brought cast the heroic Spartan into a world of regret as he could not deny he knew this particular soldier personally.

"Dammit.. it had to be you didn't it... Octavia Sinclaire."

He said aloud to no one as he looked at the dossier photograph of Octavia on the data pad. Their past was still heavy in his mind as he allowed himself, even for the brief moment to get taken back to all those years ago. Then the entire shipped lurched and jumped like they had impacted something large. Shepard stabilized his footing as the ship corrected it's position and returned to some sense of normalcy yet he'd served on enough war class dreadnoughts to know the difference between impact and turbulence and this was neither. Until he had a definite answer on what was going on John felt it was better to prepare for the worst.

Rushing out of the armory John set to getting some word on what was happening. All he managed to pick up from some friends in nav was that they had jumped out of slip space somehow and ended up just outside Iso 399 and beyond that the planet was not only inhabited but those inhabitants were currently engaged in all out war. Shepard would be damned if the Valhalla's men were cut off guard. He went to the nearest terminal top issue an order to his units.

"USC Valhalla, this is the Spartan Commander. All Spartans report to weapons bay 5E for inspection."

His voice echoed out over the ships comms for all to hear but only the Spartans would respond to the order. Shepard made his way quickly to the designated area and awaited the arrival of his men. Shepard was just glad Volf was here, Aidon was an old friend and one he could count on. He'd need the man in the days to come, he could feel it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Ophelia Sinclaire
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Adion caught Ophelia as she was getting off the elevator and he was getting on. He felt that it would be good to tell her that he had lessened the obedience drive's effect in order to preserve it better.

"Doctor Sinclaire. I want to warn you before you go in that I replaced the obedience drive with a newer, more durable model. The downside is that I reprogrammed the restrictions, so he is liable to say anything. If there is anything that breaches protocol or makes you think that he may commit some bad choices, tell me so that I can put in a new obedience drive, please." Adion said. Rarely did the 2 meet, and when they did, Ophelia seemed uncomfortable. Of course, when they met, it was usually in the presence of Issac. That likely made things 'odd' for Ophelia.

Then Adion heard an ever familiar voice come over the comms. He hadn't heard that voice in well over a year. However, there was no way that Adion could mistake it, it was John Shepard. Quickly nodding to Ophelia, Adion set the elevator to the floor, and rushed out to meet his new Commander.

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Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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"USC Valhalla, this is the Spartan Commander. All Spartans report to weapons bay 5E for inspection."

“Talk of the fucking devil.” McDonald grinned as the order boomed over the public intercom system.

Octavia grinned her beaming smile almost as bright as the fluorescent lighting. Action at last!

“Time to get this party started. Catch you later old man.” She waved over her shoulder as she exited the Common and jumped into the elevator and scanned her key card.

Excitement bubbled throughout her body. She would finally get to try out her MO authority and the weapons! Where did she start!?! Classified shit, she hadn't be allowed access to before.

Bay 5E” Stated the elevator AI just before the doors opened.

Inspecting her clothing for a moment. She was dressed all in black. Combat boots leading up to tight leather pants and a tank top that had the USCorp log. A bold but feminine tattoo wrapped around her upper left arm read 'Semper fideli'. Octavia shrugged to herself. She was going into battle not the damn Prom.

Stepping out, she followed the signs that led to the Weapons Bay. Scanning her key card. The scanner blinked green in approval. Taking a deep breath straightening her spine, O opened the door and stepped in.

She was met with the backs of the men and the noise of their laughing and joking. All turned to look at her with curious gazes.

“So you're the new chick.” Said one of the pack.

“That would be me.” Octavia replied with a cocky grin as she folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the lockers. “I'm Octavia Sinclaire. My friends call me O.”

“Huh? Thought you might be more butch.” Said another.

“Sorry to disappoint.” O answered leisurely with a casual smile, as if their opinion or acceptance of her didn't matter. “Though it's good to know what kind of women you like. I'll keep an eye out.”

Manly chortles and laughter rang out at her sharp reply.

“She's got you there Barton.” One guy said slapping the deeply frowning Barton on the back.

“Man shut the fuck up.” He replied angrily pushing the guys hand away. “They said you were a real bitch.”

“Gotta give them points on accuracy.” Octavia replied not at all affronted by Barton's macho like behaviour.

“This ain't no Slumber party princess.” Barton spat, it was obvious he was intent on passing judgement on her even before she had a trial.

He was beginning to piss her off and get on her last nerve but Octavia kept her cool. She'd dealt with macho assholes like him before who could not stand working along side a woman. Fucking faggot.

“Ain't got time for your make-up and shit here.”

“Hey man relax.” Octavia smiled pushing off the locker with pacifying hand. “My make-ups back there in my purse.” She said gesturing to the doors behind her that she had come through. “Yeah it's right there, along side your balls.”

Even louder laughter and boisterous jeering filled the Weapons Bay. Octavia watched in amusement as a vein almost popped in Barton's forehead and he made a leap for her growling like a ravenous dog.

Octavia arched her brow as she stood her ground. She was ready to drop this dickhead on his ass.

“Hey man!” A guy with dark hair and a equally dark complexion stepped in the way and thrust Barton back. “Back the fuck up! I think Sinclaire has proven herself enough. She'll fit right in.” He said turning to offer her his hand as the others agreed with him. “I'm Ramirez.” He smiled shaking her hand. “Barton's an asshole.”

“Yeah I can see.” Octavia smiled back. “Another hazard of the occupation.”

“What? Dealing with assholes?” He smirked, setting dimples in his cheeks. “Yeah but you don't expect them to be on your side. You said another? What's the other hazard?” He questioned curiously.

“Isn't it obvious? Death of course.”

“Ahh. Death. Right.” Ramirez nodding his head in agreement. “Yeah, I try not to think about that one.” He winked. “So Sinclaire I've heard a lot about you.”

“All bad things, I hope.” O joked.

“Well depends on whose perspective you look at it from.” He replied.

“I'm pretty sure it's all bad no matter whose perceptive you look at it from man.” She laughed and Remirez joined her.

A sudden silence fell over the room as all conversation and talk suddenly stopped. Octavia turned back to the men to see them all standing at attention and at the fore stood . . .

Oh fuck . . .

Setting

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Out of the darkness strode their commander. Spartan Commander John Shepard, United Space Command Marine 117 and veritable war hero looked out into the full armor bay at his soldiers. The Marines, the Spartans were not your average soldiers. The name Spartan had been chosen for a reason. The 13th regiment had a reputation of being the best of the best, the toughest marines the USC had to offer and they now had a new Commander. A leader fitting to their own reputation was the sweeping reputation of John Shepard. War Hero, Black Ops warrior, Command Genius were all words keen to describe Marine 117. His impassive gaze swept over the men and women at his command. Some faces were familiar to him, some not so much. Today none of that mattered. Not the past, not the future. Today they were all Marines and today was the day to set the ground rules for engagement from this point forward.

"Spartans... I am Commander John Shepard, Marine 117. I have been tasked to lead you men and women for the foreseeable future. Some of you know me, some of you don't. Those that do know I don't accept anything less than your all, those don't will soon learn. I don't want you to try, I don't want you to do what you can. I want you to achieve victory, period. Why?... Because you're Marines and that's what Marines do."

The Marines gathered in the armor bay nodded as their personal pride for their unit and corps began to swell. John nodded slowly as he began to pace up and down the front line of soldiers.

"The USC Valhalla has surveyed alien military forces on the planet surface below. These forces are proving to be hostile to each other, I shouldn't have to tell you what they'd do to a bunch of humans dropping in out of the sky. The fly boys may like to believe that the thing standing between the men and women on this ship and total annihilation is their high flying aerial antics but they're wrong. When the smoke clears and the end comes the thing that protects our allies and defeats our enemies is us, Marines. Men and woman who designate themselves for excellence and prove that they are fiercest warriors in the galaxy. If and when the aliens down there get it in their heads that they're tough enough to take on humanity it is our job to show them just how wrong they are."

Shepard's words were bold and impassioned. He meant every word and the pride he felt for the Corps and the soldiers he served with could be felt as every Marine gathered held their head a little higher that day.

"This is where we step up. We work fast, work as a unit and show everyone what Marines are capable of!"

"OORAH!"

Came the resounding reply from the assembled Marines. The Spartans were proud of who they were and what they represented, it was obvious they were ready to go and prove their worth. John wanted them ready and ready they were. John saluted them all and began to march along the line to inspect each and every Marnie personally.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Octavia stood right at the back of the room and listened to John Shepard's impassioned speech. Impressed, was not the word she would use to describe it. The things O was feeling in that moment were anything but patriotic and submissive to a Commanding Officer. Pissed off, angry and annoyed were good words but not strong enough to describe the resentment she felt towards her Commanding Officer at this time.

All her excitement for the battle and adventure ahead faded almost instantaneously as Shepard came into view and started spouting the usual bullshit one heard before being dispatched on any given mission.

'USCorp this and Marines that . . . blah, blah, blah.'

It was all the same old shit to her but she knew how Shepard felt about it and that every word that left his lips were true to him.

"This is where we step up. We work fast, work as a unit and show everyone what Marines are capable of!" Commander Shepard finished on a high.

Leaning against the lockers once more, Octavia watching on with lazy but sharp eyes as all the troops before her hurrahed John Shepards words. The sound almost deafening for such a small and restricted group of people.

She did not join in their merriment. Instead she waited like an Adder in tall grass as John made his way down the line of troops inspecting and having a word with each until he finally arrived at the end of the line.

Damnit! But he still looked good! Being a War Hero hadn't left him with nearly enough ugly scars.

“Nice speech, Commander Shepard.” Octavia smiled honeyedly up at the man that was now her Boss from her position against the lockers. “If I remember correctly you were always good at spouting company bullshit John.”

Setting

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Shepard stopped at the end of the line to the last Marine in the row. The one Marine he was least interested in inspecting. Octavia Sinclaire and John Shepard knew each other from back in basic. Back when the two were just starting out. Back when Octavia still had John's trust. Trust that she betrayed when she lied in order to gain access to the Marine Corps and putting John in the compromising position that jeopardized his entire career. He'd thought he was over it, the sting of betrayal and the anger that came with being lied to by her of all people. He was wrong. Standing there looking at those alluring blue eyes staring up at him defiantly as she leaned casually against a set of lockers while the rest of her company stood at attention for inspection. Another classic example of how Octavia Sinclaire thought the rules just didn't apply to her.

John paused and turned sharply to look down at her. His hand folded professionally behind his back as he looked down at his subordinate.

"Commander..."

He corrected flatly as he stared angrily into her stunning oceanic eyes. Despite her beauty, despite their past he was her commanding officer and she was going to shape up or he'd get rid of her. He had no use for unruly marines under his command.

"And in case you haven't noticed corporal your unit is standing at attention. Now get your ass up and stand at up straight until I give you something to do Marine."

Shepard's scolding was scathing and harsh and one Octavia would no doubt take to heart only to boil with hatred over. Angry or not she wouldn't go against her CO openly, not this way. She'd shape up enough to get him to leave her be, at least for now. The other Marines were casting a few wayward glances at the Sinclaire as her CO stared her down.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Commander.” Octavia offered up when Shepard corrected her. “My bad.”

Somehow, she managed to keep the disdain she felt for him out of her eyes. She wasn't particularly bothered with the audience they had garnered. Young Watson was looking on with bright pink cheeks, an open mouth and disbelieving eyes. If all her attention wasn't focused on the man before her she would have laughed.

Her gaze held his dark one locked. She could almost feel the anger radiate off him. Still mad at her, Octavia could see as her resentment grew. She couldn't understand his anger towards her. In fact she had given up caring a long time ago. He was suppose to understand! What was she suppose to tell him? 'Hey man sorry I lied to you these past two years. I did it because I had a choice.' Not!

Well fuck it! Thought Octavia, he had just up and left without even giving her an opportunity to explain herself. In that respect he was much like that asshole Barton.

"And in case you haven't noticed corporal your unit is standing at attention. Now get your ass up and stand up straight until I give you something to do Marine." He practically barked at her.

Another molten rock dropped into the pit of her stomach that was her barely contained ire. She didn't move right away. Her cold eyes challenging him in a silent battle of wills. One Octavia knew she would have to lose this time but it wasn't over. Not by a long shot.

Spartan Commanding Officer John Shepard . . . for now . . .

Commanding Officer . . . Yes she liked the sound of that. Octavia Sinclaire had made it all the way to MO in the space of seven short years. She didn't suffer from a great deal of conscious like John. She'd proven herself as capable as him, probably more so. She's done what she'd had to do to get where she was today.

And she would do what she had to, to steal his rank . . . Just to spite John Shepard.

Gotta lot of work to do Sinclaire.

Octavia smiled brightly as she pushed off the lockers.

“Hadn't noticed, but thanks for the heads up Commander.” She lied sweetly with a satirical edge to her innocent words. “Whatever you order, I'll aspire to complete to the best of my abilities Sir, Commander Sir.” She saluted valiantly but couldn't help adding a roguish wink.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Adion walked in the room to see everyone in the room standing at attention. This was not something that Adion liked to do all that often. "Well if it isn't my old friend Shepard. You've gotten quite a bit farther than we last met." Adion said. He wasn't quite at attention, but anyone who knew the mechanic well enough would know that this was the closest you could get to attention from him while he was in his armor.

Adion did have one thing standing him out from the crowd when it came to his armor. It was obvious from a first glance that his armor was designed to take any hit you could give to it. It was the newest tech in physical armor, but had next to no shields, a common trait for mechanic suits.

Adion looked around the room again before saying, "Now who is going to be the first to need my services?"

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Shepard didn't avert his gaze. Not when she answered him, not when she winked, not when Aidon walked in. Nothing broke his cold stare of his unruly subordinate Marine ex friend. He waited until she had sat still and her shenanigans were over. That done he finally turned to the rest of his marines and walked to the front of the column as he beckoned for Adion.

"Eyes up front Spartans, I want you all to meet your new 1st Sergeant. Adion Volf is a damn good Marine and one of the best men I know. As far as you all are concerned he's second only to me is that understood?"

"Yes Commander!"

"Good, now fall out. I want everyone armored up and locked and loaded asap. I wanna see you all in your Sunday best ladies and Gentlemen, let's move!"

The Spartans all rushed to prep their armor and outfit themselves with their gear for the second wave of their inspection under their new Commander. Satisfied John turned to Adion and shook his hand firmly.

"Hope you don't mind the promotion Sergeant, I'm gunna need your help with this bunch."

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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"Just remember that since the assignment have become busy enough to be a Sargent, John. They have me fix the ship, they have me fix the AI, and once on the ground, I fix the damn tanks. I'll see if I can get their jaws away from my ass. Did I mention its good to see you again?" Adion said, his attitude both slightly joking and fairly serious at the same time. If Adion was anything, it was odd. Of course, John could easily have read what Adion meant. The fact that Adion was accepting John's offer, insulting the higher ups, and saying hi at the same time.

"I've never seen you do that to someone. Do you have a history with her?" Adion asked his old friend.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard
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John was grateful to have someone like Adion here with him. He knew the man well and knew there was no one he'd rather have as his 1st Sergeant than Adion Volf. He was smart, tough and able to think outside the box which made him a gifted leader in the field. He'd do wonders to help maneuver the Marines in combat. Adion was a strange one, no doubt about that but John has known the man long enough to not only understand his oddities but come to appreciate them. It was his question about Sinclaire that lessened Shepards smile considerably.

"Octavie Sinclaire, knew her from back in basic. Got me tied up in a military tribunal when she lied on her entrance app without so much as a heads up. Nearly one shotted my career. Luckily they weren't interested in taking down everyone associated with her...."

John paused to rub his hand over his short hair and throw a glance in Octavia's direction.

"I'm not sure how well she is going to work in this Regiment. She's not going to like taking orders from me."

It was obvious John was conflicted. In front of Octavia he was a hard ass CO ready to bring the hammer down at a moments notice. Around a friend he was torn between being happy to see her and sorry that she was here. John shook his head despondently and turned back to Adion.

"Brass threw her in with me so I'm going to have to make it work right? I'm going to go gear up, you're already suited up so just keep an eye on them for me will you? I'll be back in 3."

Shepard said with a nod to his friend and new number two before walking off to equip his own armor and weapons load out.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Octavia peered across at John Shepard and Adion Volf. She didn't even bother to be surreptitious with her glances; letting Shepard know this was far from over. He maybe her Commanding Officer, but he didn't control her, nor did he have it within his powers of authority to remove her from MO. Octavia Sinclaire was going to make life very difficult for Commander Shepard.

“Commander Shepard is your Commanding Officer therefore it is your duty to obey his orders.” Said Remirez like he was reading out of the Good Soldiers Handbook; sliding up and opening the locker next to hers and blocking her view of Shepard.

“Orders are meant to be disobeyed.” She smirked up at him opening her own locker and inspecting the brand new body suit and armour hanging inside; sweet.

“Too bad Shepard doesn't feel the same way.” Replied Remirez as he began undressing. “I heard Shepard's a pretty cool guy, what the hell did you do to him?”

“What are you talking about?” Octavia replied innocently, unlacing her boots. “That's just how we say Hello. Commander Shepard missed me that's all.”

“Missed you? Looked like he was ready to throw you bodily out the door.” Remirez grinned. “So you know the man huh?”

“Yep. Back from basics. We were bro's.” She replied sounding bored with the direction of the conversation as she removed her pants and slid into the slick bottoms of the body suit that looked like a scuba diving suit.

To say their relationship had been completely fraternal would be a lie but she wasn't about to go into the nitty-gritty details with Remirez.

Instead Octavia continued dressing, turning to her right stood young Watson. He looked embarrassed, scared and excited all at the same time. He reminded her of a little puppy. Eric blushed furiously as he caught O's gaze.

“You still owe me money Watson.” Octavia said to him.

“After you lied to me about the man eating Crocodile men, I d-don't think I owe you anything.” He managed to stammer out.

Well, well, well. Mused Octavia with a raised brow, the kid had more balls then he let on.

“I didn't lie to you. It's a possibility and has nothing to do with the reason you owe me the mooka.” She replied in a deadly calm voice. “It's not good to be in debt to someone who can kick your ass Watson.”

The pink cheeked Cadet gulped before managing to speak.

“Fine. B-but I'm only paying you half. The first wasn't my fault, it was the Ship lurching that moved the balls.”

Octavia nodded in agreement deciding then that she like Eric Watson, green and untried as he was he had potential.

Turning back, removing her tank top and stuffing it in the locker with her pants and boots, Octavia spied Remirez amber gaze.

“Wanna stare harder?”

“What?” He answered with a rakish grin. “I'm a healthy young man.” He stated pointing both his hands at his chiselled torso. “You're an attractive well endowed young lady . . .”

“An attractive well endowed young lady with a gun.” O corrected pulling the body suit fully over herself and zipping it up.

“The correct response is why thank you for the complement.” Remirez grinned.

“Why thank you for the complement but I still have a gun which I'm more then happy to use.” Octavia replied sharing a grin with Remirez.

She liked him a lot and had a feeling they would be getting along thus she was willing to overlook his pervertedness.

“May I remind you Sinclaire before you shoot me that I saved your pretty little ass from Barton.”

“I could have handled Barton myself.”

She would handle that asshole if he got in her way again. Wouldn't be the first time she's shot or injured a colleague that didn't know their place.

“And speaking of saving ass, you gonna have my back out there Sinclaire?”

“I don't know,” Octavia smiled crookedly as both Soldier began to strap on the important gear now, the armour, the tech and the weapons. “that's a big back to cover and I'm only a tiny little woman.”

Geared up and ready to go, Octavia placed the ear piece in her ear and booted the system; foregoing the helmet for the time being.

'Tactical Internal Operating System Activated' A female AI voice stated. 'Identification Confirmation: USC 212 Corporal Octavia Sinclaire. Welcome Corporal. Confirm audio-'

“Yeah, yeah. I hear you.” Octavia interrupted the AI.

'Audio confirmed. Status Report: Shield Guard running at 100% . . .'

Octavia removed the ear piece, letting it hang down her shoulder as the AI continued to check off every piece of armour and it's charged capacity.

“Little woman?” Remirez huffed disbelievingly. “I've heard things about you out in the field Sinclaire.”

“All good things I hope.” O joked.

“Well depends on whose perspective you look at it from.” He replied with a spark in his eye, as they mimicked their earlier conversation with slight variation.

“I'm pretty sure it's all good no matter whose perceptive you look at it from man.”

“I can see you're going to be trouble.”

“Yeah but you know you like it.”

O laughed but her good mood died when she was suddenly jolted and slammed hard into her locker.

“Watch it Sinclaire.” Barton smirked viciously as he strolled past.

“Fucking cunt!” Octavia spat and was just about to jump the bastard when Remirez came to stand in her way once again.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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'Tactical Internal Operating System Activated. Identification Confirmation: USC 117 Commander John Shepard. Welcome back Commander. Confirm audio recognition.'

"Morning Eva."

John said like he was talking to an old friend as the female AI finished the final systems checks on his armors systems. The image of his armors AI popped up in the corner of his HUD as she finished her work.

'Audio confirmed. Status Report: Shield Guard running at 100%. Kinetic Barriers, online. Head up Display, online. Closed Comm Link to 13th Regiment "Spartans", online. Open Comm link to USC Valhalla and all operating personnel, online. Medical interface, online. You're looking good as always Commander'

John chuckled in his helmet at his AI as he pressed the read out on the door to re-enter the main bay where his men were. He stepped out into the armor bay with the resounding booms of his heavy armored suit to look out at his Marines. Most seemed equipped and ready to roll. There were a few stragglers, John made a mental note to start timed preps to improve their combat readiness. As his eyes scanned the soldiers one small group caught his eye. Corporal Sinclaire was just finishing up her prep when Corporal Barton decided it would be a good opportunity to come in and put her in her place. With a nasty shove he put her back in the locker which drew the suspected response from Octavia who lunged for him, ready to knock his teeth in. Ramirez stepped in to stop her but that didn't do much to stop Barton's mouth.

"That's right little girl, keep your big mexican between you and me and I won't have to beat you like it was my job."

"Barton!"

Came the fearsome authoritative bark from the regiments CO. The muffled sound of Shepard voice from behind his helmet's receiver gave his voice an eerie quality to it as he stood there with his impassive gaze that was invisible behind his bronze visor. Barton whipped around at attention as his CO marched over to him and got in his face.

"Sir!"

Barton said keeping his eyes front, a habit drilled into Marines early on in basic when they were getting chewed out by superior officers.

"You forget where you are Corporal? This isn't a play ground and you are not the big man on campus. This is a United Space Core vessel and you are on duty soldier."

John scolded harshly as he clenched his fist. He always hated bullies, in the military he met more than he cared to and John always made a habit of making sure the bullies he came in contact with knew early that their behavior was not going to be tolerated. The fact that Barton had chosen Octavia as his target was just poor luck on his part. John took a slow step closer and was but a hairs breath from Barton's un-helmeted face.

"Put your hands on her again... and I'll let her kick your ass."

His voice was barely audible, just over a low growl emanating out of his helmet. Barton swallowed hard at his CO's scrutinizing gaze.

"Yes sir."

Barton replied sullenly. Shepard glared at the man a moment longer before turning to Octavia. For a minute she wasn't the unruly Marine in his regiment. She wasn't the pain in the ass blast from the past. She was just O, just that girl who trained by his side in basic, just that one girl who clicked with him like no one else could. The ship faded away and the squad and the armor and everything else. There they stood on the proving ground back at Camp Toccoa. Just two recruits trying to make it against the world. He stared into her eyes and allowed himself to lose himself like he did all those years ago. The wild tempest of her oceanic eyes took him in and guarded him through the storm.

He blinked and his world came rushing back. The ship, the squad all of it was there again. Barton stood unsure of what was to come next. Part of him looked like he expected to get hit by his CO. Shepard's eyes were locked on Octavia but the blink free'd him. He turned away from her and glared at Barton one last time before he walked away. John rejoined his 1st Sergeant at the front to address his men.

"Form up Spartans!"

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Like the rest of squad, Octavia looked on as Shepard berated Barton. But dammit! She could hear what was being said. While Remirez still restrained her.

“Easy.” He tried to calm her as she breathed heavily, adrenaline pumping still ready to beat Barton to a pulp if she got a chance.

Her struggles only ceased when Shepard turned to face her and stared her down. Though his visor covered his eyes from her view he held her captivated. For a moment all the resentment she felt towards John Shepard faded away. In that moment she'd admit to herself she'd missed him all these years.

But as soon as Shepard turned away all that resentment, anger and hurt came flooding back ten folds. He'd left her without so much as a goodbye and obviously he'd all but forgotten about her all these years.

And the way he just looked at her? Octavia had no doubt that under his visor his eyes would hold cold accusation that read 'I know this was your fault somehow.' Of course he would blame her, that was Shepard's favourite game. According to him, she was the one who did everything wrong.

Pushing off Remirez's bulking form, Octavia whipped back around to her locker. Viciously stuffing everything in there untidily. Not caring her clothing would have creases in them when it came to putting her civvies back on.

“I suppose he doesn't dislike you all that much as he would have it seem.” Remirez commented as he leaned against his locker. “Shepard stood up for you.”

“I don't need anybody to stand up for me.” Octavia seethed angrily as she slammed her locker door shut, the sound reverberating through the whole room. “I can take care of myself!”

Remirez didn't look convinced.

“Whatever you say Princess. But just remember it isn't a bad thing when someone has your back.”

“It is when that person stabs you in the back.” Octavia replied coldly as she put her helmet on and slid down the visor just so that she didn't have to make eye contact with anyone.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Adion took note as John dealt with a problematic marine. Adion would have told the marine to leave at that exact moment. Of course, Adion would have also knocked the marine out with the forearm of his suit, which on the engineer's suit is the hardest and heaviest part.

As John took position next to Adion, some of the marines seemed to miss John's command. Thus, Adion lifted 1 foot and let its ankle hit the other ankle, causing an extremely loud sound as they collided. Those who had missed John's command quickly stood up as the deafening sound shocked all those who didn't have their helmets, which have a system to process audio input to safe volumes.

"I think may need to have their hearing checked." Adion said to John after he slammed his suit's ankles.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Shepard chuckled underneath his helmet as he eyed the formation of Marines in front of him. Adion was not going to go easy on them, not by a long shot and that kind of no nonsense command worked wonders to keep the troops in line. Shepard employed a similar policy more often than not but having Sgt. Volf here to back him up would be a welcome respite form shouldering the burden of command alone. Shepard knew that whatever was to come his Spartans needed to be ready and they would be. The safety and security of this entire ship depended on it.

John took a walked towards the first line of Marines, and much like he did earlier he inspected each and every soldier under his command. He checked their armor and weapons load outs. He ensured that each Marine was adequately equipped and toting their gear safely. He stopped to question a few about their name, rank and reason for joining the USC. Each solider under his command was inspected carefully. Even the unruly Corporal Sinclaire received a cursory once over from her CO without a word.

Satisfied his Spartans were fighting fit Shepard returned to the front of the line to address his Marines.

"Looking good Spartans. Now I know a lot of you have heard one rumor or another about the terrestrials on the planets surface below. I don't want any of you letting that crap get to you. We treat this like any other assignment, do what we were trained to do and we'll all come out of this in one piece. Understood?"

"Yes sir!"

"Alright Spartans, dismissed."

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard
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Adion looked over to John saying, "Can't wait to see the look on the faces of the green marines when they get their first taste of action." Then Adion added, "Where I'll sitting back fixing their tanks." with a snicker. It was one of the cruel things about Adion, as he was a learn by practical application type person. This often meant that those under his command would learn soon why everyone else prepared so much, from first hand experience.

"How long do you bet it will be before the captin sends us in?" Adion asked John. The one thing that Adion had never been good at is time estimations. He'll tell you it will be fixed in a day, it takes a week. Fixed in a month, and he's done in an hour.

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Ophelia Sinclaire Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire Character Portrait: Program Issac
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One piece my ass.” Octavia sneered at Shepard's words as she removed her helmet and began disassembling her gear. “I need a beer.”

“It's the morning Sinclaire.” Remirez looked at her crookedly.

“Technically, it's morning somewhere on the Eastern Coast of the United States. Here, in the middle of nowhere space, it's night all the time.”

“Your logical flaws me.” Remirez laughed.

“But you can't deny it.” O winked. “So you coming or what Remirez?”

Remirez peered at the copper haired vixen with an askew regard, wondering whether she was really considering having a drink while on duty. He decided nothing could be put passed Sinclaire. He liked that about her and would have joined her in her mutiny except now that he had a little free time he had some things to do.

“Can't. Got a few things I have to take care of.” He winked at her with a grin as they walked out the armoury doors.

“Your loss.”

“No doubt. I'll catch you later Sinclaire.”

With a nod and shared grins like those between old friends the two Soldiers parted ways.

Digging into her pockets as she slowly strolled down the corridors of Bay 5E, O pulled out a few dollar bills she had stuffed in there early. She had all sorts of crap in there that she had no idea how it got there. A card for a night club back somewhere in New York. A piece of candy. A rock?

Ah shit.

She'd lost her key card. Again.

Whipping around Octavia headed back to the Armoury Bay. She was always losing important shit. And she'd lost her key card on numerous occasions. They told her that if she lost it one more time, not only would she have to pay to replace it herself but they would also take disciplinary action against her because apparently 'by losing her key card she was jeopardizing the entire safety of the ship and all personnel on board. '

What a load of crap, thought Octavia. Anyway to extort more money out of us.




“ . . . Maybe you need to punish me.” Issac suggested.

“Don't tempt me.” Ophelia replied with the slightest curve to her lips as she concentrated on running a full diagnostic on Issac.

It took quite a bit of time because of the complexity of Issac, how he ran and everything he was hooked up to. Technically it wasn't in Ophelia's job description however it was almost the best part of her day. A little peace and quite and some very interesting conversations with Issac. No one but her was allowed in here. No one could come here and demand she do this or that. They'd have to wait and Ophelia made sure to take her time with running all the routine tests. For Issac was not only the single most important part of running this Ship; he was the heart of the Valhalla. Something that required the most delicate care.

"Really, what does it take for a bio-computer to get a break around here? That Captain just loves to make his orders..."

Ophelia simply smiled as Issac complained. His favourite pet peeve was the Captain's orders thrust upon him. She had a feeling that if he could take over the Captain's role he would gladly do so.

“The Captain's the Captain. And his orders are to be followed by all that includes you my disobedient friend.”

"Hmm, it also seems like your sister shall be shipping out soon . . . though you needn't worry about her. She can certainly take care of herself." Issac tried to reassure her and the feeling of dread that wore on Ophelia felt as if it had solidified into a heavy piece of mass in her stomach.

The Doctor could not put a finger on her anxious feelings regarding her younger twin. She worried about Octavia constantly. Maybe, she tried to reason sensibly with herself, it was because the fight had never been so close to her.

Octavia was away on one mission or another always. But this was different. Here Ophelia had seen her almost everyday and she would be waiting like the rest of the Ship for the results and outcomes of the Soldiers deployment. She wasn't a fool to believe that everyone would come back in one piece. She just hoped to God that her sister was one to come back fully intact.

“I'm not so sure about that.” Ophelia said finally with a deep sigh and a frown digging into her brow.

When there was no immediate reply from Issac, she knew he was dealing with other things; the Captain's orders no doubt.

Thus, no longer being able to stop herself, she called her sister. If Octavia was dispatched she wouldn't get through but if she hadn't been at least that would put Ophelia's mind at ease for the time being.




Stepping into the Armoury Bay, Octavia headed straight to her locker. She did not let her eyes wonder to the front of the room in case Shepard was still there. She just had to find that damn card and then get the hell out of there.

Opening her locker, she took a quick glance inside. It looked nothing like it had an hour ago. She was a messy and untidy sort and had just stuffed the suit and armour in any which way it would go. Sighing, she rubbed a hand across her forehead knowing she would have to take everything out.

Starting her impossible looking task, she tried not to groan and cuss too much as she systematically pulled everything out. She found $20 dollars under her helmet that she stuffed back into her pocket and her dog tags hung off one of her arm pads.

But no key card!

Crouching, Octavia swore something vicious. She was not paying for another damn card! It was then the WC (Wearable Computer) on her wrist began to ring. A photograph and a name flashed on the screen.

Ophelia.

She accepted the call.

“What's up?”

“So you haven't been dispatched yet?” Ophelia questioned, an uncertain wait weighing her voice.

“Nope.” Octavia replied shortly. “Doesn't look like it's going to be any time today either.”

Ophelia's sigh of relief could be heard down the line clearly; Octavia frowned.

“So how are you?”

O rolled her eyes. Ophelia could be such a shrink at times. How are you? How does that make you feel? What do you think that means to you? Jeez!

“I'm fine, Mom.” Octavia replied with slight irritation as her hand searched blindly the bottom of her locker.

“That bad huh?”

“Worse, actually.” Octavia answered as she strained to pull something from the back of her locker.

The metal frame shook as she pulled out . . . She didn't even know what that was! But it sure wasn't her key card.

“And I can give you two good reasons why that is Doctor.”

Yeah, two good reasons named Shepard and Barton. Octavia mused coldly.

“But I won't bore you with the details of that now. Are you in your Office?”

“No. I'm working out of Office right now.” Ophelia replied.

“Sweet.” Octavia smiled.

Ophelia didn't need to see that smile to know what her sister had in mind.

“Don't order crap for my fridge!” Ophelia demanded down the line.

“What? Order for your fridge? I can't-” Octavia said; making sounds of the line breaking up. “Hear you.”

“Octavia! I'm going to kill you!”

“I love you too! Bye!” Octavia cut the line as she snickered to herself; still crouched at the foot of her locker, one hand searching while the other held the locker edge helping her keep balance.

What good was it being on board a Ship like the Valhalla with your sister if you couldn't take advantage of her privileges?

O decided to ditch the beer and planned on going straight over to Ophelia's Lab and Office. When her older twin was working away from her office, it often kept her away for long periods of time. Enough time for Octavia to enjoy herself at Ophelia's leisure.

She just had to find this damn key card first!

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Character Portrait: John Shepard
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Shepard was in his private quarters. The hero commander was seated still in his full armor, his helmet lay beside him on the simple metal bench he was seated on. In his hand was the holo deck that was normally attached to the interior of his left forearm that served as the mobile platform for Eva, his AI. She now stood in a ray of shimmering blue light in front of him no more than twelve inches in height. She looked at him with concern in her inorganic eyes. The relationship between USC Marines who were high ranking enough or skilled enough to be given their own AI's were well documented. It was a bond unlike any other, stronger even than the bonds of brotherhood forged between fellow soldiers. The bond between the AI's and their Marines was something indescribable. It was as if when the entire world around them could be nothing but cinder they always had each other.

Eva was not just some computer simulation created to replicate human thoughts and emotions, she was a true AI. Artificial intelligence that had it's own wants, dreams, feelings and emotions. She was attached to John in a way few understood. She loved him like a sister, a mother and a wife all rolled into one. She was his best friend and would always be there for him. Now she could see the conflict in his unsteady gaze she had not seen since the horrors of trench warfare in Serenity Valley.

"John?...John?..."

She asked with blatant worry.

"I'm here Eva."

"Just checking, you've been weird since you ran into that Octavia girl. I ran her file and-"

Shepard's eyes flicked up and locked onto hers with mild amusement as if he was turning to a jealous girlfriend.

"You pulled up her file?"

Eva opened her mouth to speak then chuckled allowing her holographic lips to twist sweetly into a mischievous smirk.

"Is it so bad that I want to know a little bit about this girl whose got you all wound up?"

John shook his head slowly and looked away.

"I'm not wound up. I'm angry, frustrated... and a little happy all at the same time."

Eva arched her eyebrow curiously.

"Like I said."

She shot back sarcastically. John gave her a disapproving yet amused look that she fed off of with a dainty giggle.

"Octavia and I have... history but that's all it is. History, Eva. She doesn't care about anybody but herself. I learned that a long time ago and now I'm worried she's going to get one of my Marines hurt just to spite me."

Eva just gave her Marine a skeptical look.

"You sure that's all it is? You sure it's not-"

Eva stopped mid sentence as her eyes began scanning a data stream only her AI eyes and mind could see. Shepard picked up on it instantly and focused his attention on her.

"What is it Eva?"

Eva didn't answer right away as she was still processing the intel, seconds ticked by and she regained focus.

"Direct line from the Captain John, he want's the Spartans mobilized! Looks like we might have a boarding party soon."

Commander Shepard stood with the purposeful duty of a career military man as he grabbed his helmet and a fixed it back onto his head, the clean hiss gave voice to the tight seal it created. His speech once again took the tone of the rebreather like quality that gave him an eerie sound to his tone.

"Then we'd better go welcome them. Open up a line to all USC Spartans."

He said as he grabbed his rifle after securing Eva back onto his inner forearm and made for the exit.

"Line is open Commander."

"All USC Spartans, report for dispatch. Repeat, report for dispatch. This is not a drill."

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Character Portrait: Adion Volf Character Portrait: John Shepard Character Portrait: Octavia Sinclaire
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Adion heard the John over his mike as soon as he handed the card over to Octavia. The metal suit went straight for the armory, pulling out a 'mount anywhere' turret instead of a rifle. "By the way, we are being hailed." Adion said to Octavia upon exiting the door.

"John, give me the where and when. I'm bringing a boarding pass." Said Adion to John over the channel.

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