|This article, Looking for The Missing Wall, was written by The Pale Kestrl. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
Following his rehabilitation Shepard makes a pilgrimage to Gamma Company's hidden memorial to finally lay the ghosts of his past to rest.
Shepard took a step out of the dropship onto Merken's glassed surface. The slow ticking of the ships engine as it cooled was the only sound in the otherwise grey wasteland. A miserable wind tugged at his coat as he looked back into the ship, seeing Kodiak standing just inside the cockpit.
"I'll just be twenty minutes" said Shepard, with a voice as bleak as the land around him.
"I'm not going anywhere" replied Kody, nodding "Take all the time you need"
With slow, crunching steps Shepard made his way forward. Ahead of him was a small entrance to a cave, it's shallow gradient bringing it down into the ground beneath.
He'd been here when they started this place. A silent place where they could remember the dead. Shepard still chaffed at that notion that they couldn't publicly mourn their losses. It would raise to many questions in the long run, questions ONI didn't want to answer. That they couldn't.
Shepard slowly descended the cave. He remembered first walking down this place, him and another five Spartans. Then it had been just as bleak but it felt different, it had felt cold and empty. And now, as he reached into his pocket and ignited the glow stick in his hand, he saw a room full of names. The room felt as if the spirits of the people's names written upon the walls around him were there with him.
It had taken them a day to etch every name on the wall. Every Alpha, Beta and Gamma Company Spartan that had fallen in combat was listed here. The names of friends. The names of the dead. Each name on the wall reminded him of someone from the past, of a memory that couldn't fade.
In many years since they had first started writing the names Shepard had been here five times, once to write Lance's name. And another four with friends, to help them share the pain as they committed one of their own to the wall. Each memory differed. The first was angry. The second was sad. The next two were painful. The last was numb.
For all it's mystique this place always reminded Shepard of sadder times. Good memories clouded by the loss that had followed. But this place had to exist. He knew why he'd started it so many years before. Because through all the painful memories if they didn't remember those they had lost then they would all fade away. And there would be no one to remember his friends that had give their lives for others.
Looking down at the floor beneath him the glow stick illuminated more words on the floor. Not names of the fallen, but a statement that all Spartan's knew. That they clung to even if they knew it couldn't be real.
They are all just missing in action
As with each time Shepard thought the same thing.
"Spartan's never die" he said quietly "If only that were true"