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She walked alone through the tall, wrought-iron gates as she had so many times before and into the lush, green reserve that bore the name Shepard's Park.  The trees had grown so tall since the first time she came here.  Back then they were just hastily planted saplings that only came up to her waist.  Now they towered over her and shaded the people in the park from the hot afternoon sun.  A light breeze stirred from the east and blew pleasantly in and around the trees rustling the leaves and branches.  Liara couldn't help but smile as the cool breeze caressed her skin as she strolled towards the center of the sprawling park to the only building, the only construct on the three hundred acre lot.

Here and there people enjoyed the beautiful weather playing games, walking among the trees or having picnics as chirping birds looked down from the branches and dogs frolicked in the grass.  Many took notice of her, being one of the few Asari on planet, as she elegantly strolled along in her human style sun-dress, carrying a bouquet of flowers and a small back-pack.  

There were no sidewalks or benches just open ground lovingly cared for by a cadre of volunteer workers from across the galaxy.  It was so achingly peaceful and quiet here because no non-sentient tech was allowed in the park and no craft could over-fly it.  Liara was glad of that, if anyone deserved peace and quiet it was Shepard.

In the center of the park on a small hill was the reason people made pilgrimages from the farthest reaches of the galaxy, the Shepard Monument.  The immense sculpture seemed to climb out of the very ground it sat upon.  Fourteen marble arches, one for each spacefaring race, sprouted out of the center, rose to ten meters and rooted themselves back into the ground at equa-distant points of the great circle.

These arches supported a huge round platform that had names inscribed all around its rim.  She approached it from the back as always and walked around the monument reading each name in turn, remembering them all as they were all those years ago, some more special to her than others.  Tali, she was such a courageous and giving person.  Liara counted her as one of her greatest friends in life.  Garrus, the confident, wise-cracking brother Shepard never had.  Wrex, the abrasive, grumpy, nasty member of the family with a heart of gold.  Jeff 'Joker' Moreau, the smart-ass cousin that no family re-union would be the same without.  The list went on and Liara felt the familiar tightness in her chest as she saw the names, remembered the faces, and relived the past.  

Coming around to the front, she gazed down the length of the only walk-way in the park.  The five meter wide cement path stretched out from the front of the monument and ran four hundred meters to where it ended at the base of a twenty-five meter column that supported a bronze replica of the Normandy, its nose tilted up as if it was soaring through space.

She turned from this and lifted her gaze to the platform.  Set at the front of the platform was a bier that held a three meter high eternal flame that flickered around in the breeze and illuminated the tall bronze statue behind it.  A proud, calm and confident Commander Sarah Shepard stood in full armor, her left foot slightly ahead of the right, her right hand gripped a Mattock assault rifle pointed to the ground and her left hand reached out palm up in friendship.  The design committee stated that it showed her deadly, tough no-nonsense side and the side of her that promoted unity and peace throughout the galaxy.  

'That's what the people needed', Liara thought, but preferred to remember the loving look in her brilliant green eyes, the soft touch of her fingers as they caressed Liara's body, the feel of her warmth and love that was for Liara alone.  Liara sighed in wistful misery wishing she could feel that again, and then giggled thinking what her version of the statue would look like.

She stopped and again read the plaque that she memorized long ago:  "Dedicated to Commander Sarah Shepard.  Marine, Infiltrator, Leader, Icon.  She epitomized the very best of all races in the galaxy.  With uncommon determination, deadly skill, profound empathy, valor, integrity and selflessness she united the races of a divided galaxy to face the Reaper hordes and battle extinction.  With her final act, she gave her own life to save all sentient beings in the galaxy and brought an end to the Reaper cycle forever.  With that act she avenged the countless races destroyed by the Reapers, freed us from destruction and saved our future."

'That does not say enough.'  Liara thought as she moved away. 'There is no way to ever say enough.'

She walked down the cement pathway and only glanced at the Normandy statue as she continued on past it and climbed a small hill three hundred meters beyond it.  The top of the hill was covered with a tight stand of tall elm trees.  Their branches swayed in the growing breeze as Liara approached the outer edge of the grove.  

A Krogan grounds-keeper holding a shotgun stepped out from between two trees and greeted her.  "Ambassador T'Soni, it's good to see you again."  The Krogan grounds-keepers doubled as guards for the park and for this grove of trees in particular.  Selected from the best among Arlakh Company, these Soldiers gladly pledged themselves to Shepard, the Grande-Battlemaster, and guarded her with their lives.  Less than fifty people were allowed to enter this place and they ensured that only those people got in.

"And you also, Urdnot Gratch."  She said with a slight smile.  "May I go in?"

The hulking Krogan stepped to the side and gestured with a hand.  "Of course, the Grande-Battlemaster has been waiting for you, I'm sure."  He said reverently.

"Thank you."  She said with a slight nod.

"An honor, Ambassador."

Liara wound her way through the trees until she came to a small clearing.  In the center of the clearing was the only bench in the park, a four by eight marble slab and a simple tombstone.  Liara walked to it slowly and placed the flowers by the stone, then sat on the bench with one hand lovingly atop the marble marker.

"I'm back, my love."  She whispered feeling her heart break again as if Sarah's death just happened.  "I've missed you."  She managed as a few tears escaped and ran down her cheeks.

After a few moments, she opened the pack and removed two glasses and a bottle of whiskey.  "So, I'm sure you want to hear about your crew.  They were your family after all."  She opened the bottle and poured the brown liquid into the glasses the way Sarah taught her, "Three fingers at a time."  She poured a little on top of the marble slab in front of the stone like Admiral Hackett used to and placed the glass by the flowers.

"It's been a hundred years to the day as you humans count time.  I keep thinking about how we would have spent those years together."  She took a sip of her whiskey.  She didn't really care for it, but it was Sarah's favorite, so whenever she visited her love, the strong earth drink was all she ever brought.

"Well, back to the crew.  I was sure more of them would have lived this long, but fate determines that not just long-life spans." She sighed softly before going on.  "Grunt was killed in the Vorcha War last year.  He saved a Salarian village of all things by holding a key bridge while the civilians evacuated."

She absently took another sip and stared off into the tree-line. "Miranda Lawson died a few months ago.  It was a stroke.  I know she was happy up until it happened.  She loved taking care of children and Orianna's daughters provided plenty of those for her to watch after.  She spoke of you often, you know.  I think she always wanted to be more like you."  

"So that is it, my love.  I'm the last one."  She said morosely.  "Long life spans can be a terrible curse, Sarah.  The only blessings are seeing your children grow to become good people, and for me, you.  But I miss you so.  Sometimes I think of how EDI just turned herself off after Joker died.  She just couldn't live without him.  But I at least have a part of you still.  You would have been a fantastic father, I'm sure." Again, she reached out and caressed the cold marble stone as if were her long lost love.

"Speaking of that, your daughter has been creating quite a stir.  It seems either your legend or your genes have finally taken hold.  After satisfying my demand of finishing her education, she has run off and joined the United Galactic Marines.  Yes, she went straight into the N7 Program."  A small smile graced her lips as she thought of their daughter.  "Elena seems to have a gift for tactics and violence."  She glanced at the tomb-stone wryly for a moment.  "I wonder who she got that from?"  Liara had given up on what the scientists said about the father's genetics in Asari offspring.  In Elena it was just too strong to ignore.  "Anyway, Elena, er…Lieutenant Elena T'Soni-Shepard took her platoon to a merc-slaver space-station, infiltrated through an inactive thruster port, killed or captured the sixty man crew and saved all the slaves on-board within an hour.  You would have been so proud of her.  I see that same gleam in her eye that you had going into a fight.  She is so like you.  I wish you could have known her and her you."

A few moments passed as Liara sat there crying softly, remembering the past.  Remembering her only love.  "I wish I could hold you again, Sarah, and curl up next to you as we watch home vids of Elena.  Her first steps, school plays, cello and dance recitals.  It may have been a hundred years since you destroyed the Reapers, but it still seems like yesterday to me." Her tears flowed freely again, puctuated with soul rending sobs that wracked her shoulders, as she said, "I'm so lonely and I miss you with all my heart."  It just seemed so unfair.  Unfair to Elena, herself and mostly to Sarah.  She deserved so much more in life.  Happiness denied her by cruel fate.

A soft voice behind her brought her out of her reverie.  "Ambassador?"  A slim, lithe, green eyed Asari in Marine dress uniform stepped between two trees and walked gracefully to the bench.

"I've asked you not to call me that, Elena, or should I start calling you lieutenant?" She said as she quickly dried her eyes and forced a smile for her daughter.  

The young woman's lips ticked up in a wry smile just as her fathers used to.  "Well, you are the Asari Ambassador to the Galactic Senate, but ok, only in public, mom."  She reached over, took Liara's glass, saluted the grave marker with it and downed the rest of the whiskey in a gulp.  "Here's to you, dad."  She whispered reverently before sitting next to her mother.

Liara rolled her eyes and turned back to the tomb-stone.  "She is so like you, Sarah."

"I will take that as a compliment, mom.  And dad should, too."  Elena said with a big smile on her face.  "I'm dating someone new."  She added conspiratorially as she leaned toward her mother.

Liara looked up, happy for her daughter.  "Tell me.  Who is it?"

Elena put her hands on the bench, leaned forward and lifted her gaze to the shifting branches above.  "She's a lieutenant in Delta Company.  Tough, hard as a Krogan's head, smart and gorgeous.  Her name is Breanna."  She looked at her mother with a sly twist on her lips.  "Breanna Williams."

Liara's eyes widened slightly.  "Ashley's grand-daughter, Breanna?"

"The very same!  Goddess she's something else."  Elena added wistfully as she took another drink and looked into the glass admiringly.  "Mmm, I really like this stuff."

"That is not surprising, don't drink too much."  She cautioned.

Elena groaned in fake exasperation.  "Ninety-nine and my mother still tells me what to do…"

The young woman looked at her mother seriously and noted the redness and unshed tears in her eyes.  She had grown up with all the stories of heroic Commander Shepard.  When she was younger, the battles and adventures of her father both terrified and captivated her.  But it was the stories her mother told her that she really loved the most.  How Sarah went out of her way and put herself in danger so many times for her friends, crewmen and people who just needed help.

She filled the glass again and took a sip before reaching over and placing a gentle hand on her mother's shoulder.  "Tell me about her again, mom."  She asked softly.  "You know, the way you used to when I was a kid.  Start from when you met."

Liara remembered all those times when the small girl would wander into her room, climb into Liara's bed and insist on a story about her dad before going back to sleep.

As the sun fell behind the trees Liara started to tell her daughter again how a young human woman rescued her from a Prothean dig-site and saved her from a Krogan War-Lord and a Geth company.  Soon the bottle was nearly empty and they were laughing and crying the evening away together.

For just a little while, Liara had her family together.
Liara was right, long life spans can be a curse, I suppose, if not shared with your loved ones.
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that story was one of the best i have read in a long time, it's interesting and sad, you described it wery well, you described what would happend to Liara's life aftert the Citadel ending wery well and it had a big impact on my, (not many story's manage that white) your technique is brilliant, there is nothing wrong white the story as far as i can see and it is amazing to read it, i almost feel like i'm there in the story when i read it,

you have a talent here as i can see, great story :D
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BlueKosh Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2014
Great story, sweet and sad at the same time. And not only because Liara misses Shepard so much, but also for the fate of the rest of the ME gang.
I feel that the armed Krogan and the restrictions on who can go and see Shepard's grave go against the idea of a memorial park, however. I don't think Shepard would approve. But at least this way Liara was afforded some quiet moments to remember.
Shepard's daughter dating Ash's grand daughter was a funny idea.
GraffittiGuy Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014
This is so lovely. Damn it, now I'm depressed :(
Agnieszka1991 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2013
Oh, crap... Now i'm crying ;-(
Panchima Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2013
So sad, but absolutely stunning story!!! :heart: Love how precise you described the Shepard memorial!!!
SillyMadman Featured By Owner Oct 16, 2013  Hobbyist Writer

brb, drowning in feelings.
socialreader Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
A truly amazing story. It cut to the heart.
Demonangelx Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2013  Student Writer
Omg I'm crying so hard. Wow this is a really good story nice work :') 
RyokuN7Otaku Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing!!! Simply amazing!!! I'm flippin crying right now! Omg that's so sad T-T but bravo!
ReissumiesSF Featured By Owner May 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Truly a beautiful and touching piece of literature. I applaud you for tackling such a heavy subject. I've played with the idea in my mind a few times, but decided I wasn't ready for it. You on the other hand clearly are. It takes true talent to create something this sad without it being also crushingly depressing. You managed to capture this delicate balance very well. Overall, this was one of the best short stories I've ever read.
shorelinegal16 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013
You are an excellent writer..... The story definitely made me tear up
DOWModder Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
A very powerful and emotional story. I had one such as this myself, but not as good as yours - I admire your skills my friend! :-)

Indeed a long life span can be a curse - when you realise you outlived everyone you cared for and that you are alone. Even if you find other close friends and even love it will never be the same. :-(

You captured this feeling of emtiness perfectly, so much saddness, such bitter grief mixed with happy moments, the description parts when Liara walks through the park made a very clear and vivid picture, creating a great background to the story.

And of course the talk, the 'I`m the last!' thought, it is all so touching and strong. You have a talent, my friend, keep up the good work and thank you for sharing this with us. The story is sad, but it is beautiful! :nod:

Brilliant, simply brilliant!
CrazyGreggy Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013
Sadly Katlyn will not be writing any more, she was killed by a drunk driver last August. It's nice to see her work touching people now she's longer with us.
DOWModder Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I already know, sad story really. :-( Poor lass, rest her soul. :pray:
Michael-656 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Bitterschock Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2012  Hobbyist
So a beautiful story,
my heart is broken

why BioWare? why?! :cries:
lunalozer21 Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
this is very impressive!it was so detailed i could picture the whole thing and that made me cry very good job!:)
smith808 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2012
great and well written love the story
-may those who have fallen rest...May those who stand fight to the end-
Maman-Ourse Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
I read it a few days ago. It's very, very good. Well writing, i can easily imagine the scene: Liara, Krogans, Elena, ...
Liara drink every year a bottle of Ice Brandy: after one century, that's a lot. Like Buzzz1 said, i can't imagine the asari's life after a loss like that. You suggested a lot of Ice Brandy. So ... Asari becomes alcoholics. Nice future. :(
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012
Thanks! I'm glad you liked it! :)

It's a lot, but spread out over 100 years, isn't so bad. I think Buzzz1 hit that on the head too. You'd see a lot, but lose so much. It would be heart-breaking.
Buzzz1 Featured By Owner May 25, 2012
Liked all your stories so far.
But then again, these characters are my favorite.

Interesting how you described their kid.
Elena seems to be the best of shepard and liara together.
Would love to see someone make a wallpaper of this!

Nice going!

A thing that's bothering me some time now: how the hell is liara coping with this loss.
Losing your bondmate and realising you'll have quite a few centuries to embrace this agonising reality. Knowing that every second of your life you'll feel the pain.
Would not every soul be torn apart and lost in bitterness?
Would not every sentient being, sit down, cry, wither and die?

Or do the asari get over it?
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 25, 2012
I liked Elena as soon as I put her in type. I toyed with the idea of an introverted twin, but decided against it. Elena might get her own story sometime.

I know what you mean about Asari long lives and all. I know Liara says they take the long view and just concentrate on the time they have, but that sounds too easy to me.

Maybe it takes a lot of Ice Brandy...
lololwot Featured By Owner May 23, 2012
simply amazing... damn... amazing,
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 23, 2012
Thanks! I'm very glad you enjoyed it! :)
OldSnake117 Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
thats sad. but great. all though i like to think Shepard got " Marriage, old age and lots of little blue babies."
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
I prefer the marriage and little blue children ending too. But Bioware got me thinking about how this would turn out for Liara.

Thanks for reading!
NotCras Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
As stated before, manly tears have definitely been shed just now xD

Darn it this was another great one. Darn you and you're awesome writing skills lmao. Same thing goes for this story as the other one, I'm gonna be using this to help out my own writing. Thanks!!
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 10, 2012
I'm very glad you liked it! I LOVE Liara and thought about this a lot. I just had to make sure she had a little blue child, too.

Thank you for reading!
NotCras Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
O of course, I was sorely depressed when I found out at the end that there would be no little blue babies... so i jumped the indoctrination theory bandwagon and made my own ending! Headcanon FTW!!
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
We Soooooo think alike! (That's dangerous!) :)
NotCras Featured By Owner May 14, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
hahaha well then, better start making sure our stories don't end up sounding the same! xD
Big-Wired Featured By Owner May 3, 2012
Thank you for this short little story... I have to say, that in the vacuum of an ending from ME3, it is fiction writers such as yourself who have stepped up to fill in the void and give us a truly wonderful, heart touching, and tear-inducing story like this.

It means a lot to have stories such as these, especially after the abysmal ending we all got, no matter what option you choose. I've favourited this story and I can't wait to see if you do anything else.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 3, 2012
I agree completely about the ending of ME3. That is probably why I started writing this in the first place, which I actually enjoyed. So I guess I can thank BioWare for that... :)

Thank you for your kind words, it really means a lot and makes me want to do more. I'm very glad you liked it.

Thanks again!!! :)
my1rubberducky Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
im not gonna cry... im not gonna...gonna... aw damn it :tears:
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner May 1, 2012
Here you go, *passes you a box of tissue* I've gone through two already... :)
frost-of-fire Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Manly tears have most definitely been shed.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012
no shame in manly tears. Glad it touched you.
frost-of-fire Featured By Owner May 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
It did... It so damn well, did
DeathxNoteX Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012
I. Love. This.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012
Thanks! I'm very glad you enjoyed it! :)
DeathxNoteX Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012
I enjoy re-reading it ^w^
Sarge166 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012
I need to stop cutting onions while reading this *sniff*
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2012
I'm so glad you liked it! I bawled while writing it too!
devtardi Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is... most excellent. Very sad, but that just means it's done good.
I've thought about this a lot and I'm happy to see a story written about it by someone who can write. Thank you.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
Thank you! I am glad you liked it.
malovence Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012
I love your story. Thanks for writing it. It truly shows the bane that is immortality.

To those who believe immortality to a gift. The greatest power one can possess. I would gladly through away. For what is life if one is all alone. To watch friends, lovers, brothers, family, children and grandchildren fade as you remain eternal. Immortality is not a boon but should is the bane of all life. Death is a release. Not from pain, not from suffering, but separation. For once you reach the end of the long road, all the deeds done, all promises kept and all vows laid down, it is time to rest. Rest and join those who have gone ahead and be with them eternal. Where none can divide.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2012
I love your take on immortality! Very well put! I'd hate to outlive all my loved ones. I couldn't imagine anything more horrible. The part in ME3 when Liara talks about seeing the end of the cycle really got me thinking about it. So sad.

Well, I'm very glad you liked the story! Thank you for letting me know. :)
malovence Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
No, it is I who must thank you. For often we are blinded by greed and forget what the true cost of such 'gifts' are.
Thank you again for the heart touching story.
You can take pride as it has reminded this man what life truly is.
celticknotgirl Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2012
Seriously, I love the way you write!

But you are right. Greed can manifest itself in so many ways. Immortality in this case, of course. The world would be so much...better...greater...peaceful...idillic...perfect if only everyone would concern themselves with the fate of eachother and not just themselves.
malovence Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
thanks for the compliment. But my writing like above is rare.
Only when I read, see or hear of something great, epic or beautiful can I write like this.

for example:
inspiration for:

It’s the fire in our eyes, which makes our enemies shudder in dread, when we are given the choice to avenge those we lost.
Nothing is too great, no action too far, when we start on the path of the renegade, to bring back those we’ve lost.
CharlesWS Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012
Excellent work, seriously. I can imagine this being one of the options that would happen (depending on how things went, not just red-green-blue!) for Paragon FemShep and Liara...if only BioWare had more writers like you.

I hope my upcoming fic meets your approval! Snff, I need a hankie now!
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