Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
When you were born into the world your mother, Ellen, eyes lit up like the stars themselves. They shown with such pride and happiness that you couldn't help but to stare before you were taken into the arms of another person, your father, Alec. The wails of your brother reached your ear and although you felt the urge to wail with him, to show the discomfort of being brought into the cold world of strange noise, you don't make a sound. Your wide eyes study the man that held you because up until now - all you've known was his muffled voice through your mother's womb. You were loved already, you and your brother.
"Mad is the smallest word for what I am."
They dynamic duo, Sara and Scott.
You were raised around an array of people from big to small, human to Turian, male to female. There was no room to judge and even if there was...you were not one to judge looks but personality. Attitude. You were curious always getting into trouble as you found yourself entering forbidden zones, asking different aliens questions that border a little too personal but did not now that. You were a child with no filter and a world so large in your grasp...it didn't help that Scott egged you on from time to time. You always teased about being the oldest but he was bigger than you and he knew how to retaliate but you were not afraid. You were his equal as much as he was yours and you wouldn't wish for anyone else...especially when the training your father started on the both of you kicked in.
You needed to know how to defend yourself and you weren't opposed because that meant being able to do more. Be more. You had a plan and that was to follow Scott by joining the Alliance Military. It was a time where the both of you would need to go separate ways but at least you knew you'd be close to one another. You wanted to explore more of the world, those of the ancients and unknown even if it meant just being a guard to the scientist making the effort to find these new discoveries. You wanted, needed, to be there when something new was discovered because it would make you a part of something bigger than yourself, than your family.
Except, that big discovery didn't happen.
The future to explore alongside the Military was started to become a distant memory...because of your father.
You guys were close growing up, closer than he and Scott, but there was a distance developing...pushing him away from all of you. There was a reason behind such distance but you would have thought that the news of your mother would bring you all closer. She was dying and you just wanted everyone to be together, to be happy like things were when you were a child. You had to step in the way more than once of Scott and your father's arguments that made the disappointment in the both of them grow as you watched your mother grow weaker. It was one thing to lose everything, for the family name to become blacklisted because Alec decided to deal with illegal Artificial Intelligence, but to continue on this disgruntled path while your mother's days became less-and-less was upsetting.
In time, you decided to join your brother and father into the Andromeda Initiative. There was nothing left of the Milky Way galaxy that could fix the errors of your father, so why not make a new life in a new galaxy? Hell, there wasn't a chance that you were going to let your father and brother being in the same galaxy without some sort of buffer between the two. Your mother's passing would not be in vain.
You would make her proud.
You would help with the new discover.
Even if it meant being asleep for many, many years.
Six-hundred years you and everyone aboard the Ark Hyperion (the human shuttle from Milky Way to Andromeda), slept in light of finding new worlds that those originally from the Milky Way could live upon and build new colonies. New homes, families, futures, new beginnings. When you awoke from your slumber you were groggy but excited, hopeful but weary of the unknowns. You were expected to be by your father's side when it was time to journey to Habitat 7 along with Scott, but there were complications when the Ark collided with an energy cloud therefore messing up the Ark and a selection of stasis pods being prepped for awakening. Scott's being one of them, as you and your father were informed that he would have to be put into medically induced coma to allow his body to wake up on its own due to the incident.
"It's why I'm here. Exploring the unknown."
You were venturing into new territory without your other half and it devastated you but you pulled yourself together because no way were you allowed to show weakness in front of the Pathfinder, your father. Sometimes you still wondered how he ended up the one in charge of discovering viable planets for all of humankind, but then you'd remember what he was like before mom got sick, and you knew why.
The thing about Golden Worlds was that they were suppose to be worlds that were chosen to be perfect for species like humanity to thrive on, but Habitat 7 was no such place. It was dismal, dangerous, and appeared to be breaking down - not at all what anyone was expecting. Upon arrival, you and the rest of the team tasked with investigating the new planet were separated and with intent on finding your missing team and father - you ran into a hostile alien race - the Kett. You weren't about to let them brutally murder anymore of your comrades and you found yourself taking them out along the way to reuniting with your father. It wasn't long before you were reunited at a structure of unknown origins that seemed to direct the clouds that caused the Hyperion to malfunction and with the aid of Cora (your father's second-in-command), Liam (another Initiative volunteer), and your father - you made it into the structure.
You were safe for a brief moment as your father tinkered with the strange tech clearing up the skies in cause for celebration. Only nothing could truly last for your family because next thing you knew you were struggling to breath. You and your father had been knocked off the platform and your visor cracked effectively cutting your oxygen supply off as you struggled to focus on your father's eyes.
There was fear in them.
You didn't think it was possible after all these years but the emotions that reflected in your father's eyes as his words garbled together in your ears made you want to hug him. The darkness was taking over and you knew you wouldn't last much longer as everything went dark.
"You're the new Pathfinder, Sara."
"You can't be serious...
You didn't know what was more shock-inducing the fact that you woke up to learn that your father died (saving you) or the false idea that you were chosen to be his successor, humanity's Pathfinder. A Pathfinder was a leader, someone trained over time to know what to look for in viable planets...they were responsible for an entire species and that was something Cora had trained for. Her...not you! You didn't know the first step of taking on such a huge responsibility and apparently the looks tossed your way proved that everyone knew that. You tried to crack a joke when you heard SAM's voice in your head and realized that jokes weren't going to get you out of this situation.
All you could do now was continue forth in your dad's footsteps and hope for the best.
Too bad that doing your best didn't seem to be enough when you finally found the Nexus - and learned only the Hyperion had made it. The place was in chaos, understandably so, but it didn't help how the "higher ups" looked at you like you were a joke. You resisted the urge to curl your lips at them and at the point you realized screw not knowing what you were doing...you were going to prove them wrong. You were going to make this place livable for Scott's sake and anyone else dragged into this with hopes of new beginnings.
On the bright side you get to have your own fancy space ship known as the Tempest, and you couldn't be more pleased. You will make your space family grow one person at a time and you will die for them because when you care about anyone, or anything, you care with every fiber of your being. Kallo, the pilot of your ship, is overjoyed at finally being able to take it out from the Nexus and actually be used for its purpose. You learn of Suvi, someone easy to flirt with and just enjoy being around because it's fun making Kallo uncomfortable at times as well as watch how her eyes light up when she gets into stuff that she's passionate about. Lexi, the overbearing grandmotherly doctor that you can't help but to give a heart attack to every once in awhile because "once a Ryder always a Ryder" and frankly no one else likes to push her buttons like you do. Gil, the ship's mechanic and that one gay best friend that everyone woman should have even if he scams the other crew members of their money through some shady poker games - you know you could always talk to him about pretty much everything.
You'll get past Cora's judging eyes and silent question of "Why her?" because in the end you are both working towards a better outcome and she's your guide to this bumpy journey, and if your dad could trust her as his second-in-command, she might as well be your's. You will continue to feed hope to Liam because you both know that Habitat 7 and the Nexus wouldn't be the end of the Andromeda experience and you couldn't help but to feel like he was another brother adopted into your fold and you didn't want to see the hope leave his eyes. Peebee, another flirt that you didn't know how to take on because she's all over the place and sporadic - a taste of your own medicine it would seem but you are grateful for her knowledge of Remnant Technology and her creativity. When it comes to Vetra, the logistics and smuggling Turian, you can't help but to lean on her like that of a younger sibling to an older one. You don't think she realizes just how much her support (and random gifts of sweets) really mean to you both mentally and emotionally nor would you tell her because humans are already squishy enough as it was. Drack, the grandfatherly Krogan, is a part of the crew that you didn't know you needed until you took him aboard the ship. He knows how to crack a smile and although you are weary of his large gallery of gun pictures, he always knows what to say when you are at a loss.
Then there's Jaal, a member of the Angara, the new alien species discovered after an unfortunate crash landing on their home planet, Aya. As Pathfinder you were in charge of first contact with any new species, they frightened you but you didn't let that show because weakness didn't bode well and you didn't know if they were going to be like the Kett. They weren't. Aya's people were hostile within reason, but there were those that were willing to learn about the Initiative and all the new species that invaded their galaxy. Jaal was the one tasked with learning as much as he could by joining your crew and what an experience he brought. You couldn't help but to be entrance with the way his voice seemed to purr, or see how easy it was for him to share his emotions in the open as well as the Angaran way of life with the rest of the crew. He didn't hide from anything thrown his way and you took a pointer from him. Who would have thought that your feelings
for him would develope past friendship but you can't help but to get lost in his eyes that held the galaxy itself.
Your band of misfits each held their own pros and cons, but everyone clicked when it came to a better future. No one wanted the Kett to linger, and you were handled the mantle of saving the Andromeda Galaxy along with the rest of your Pathfinder duties. Your responsibilities may grow as days pass, your anxiety may flare and cause you to panic, but you have a family that has your back even when the world starts to weigh a little much on your shoulders.
You've been doing your best to play peacekeeper between the Angara, the Outcasts, and the new outposts you've been able to place because of your task with finding viable planets Obstacles, people, try to tear you down and make you feel unworthy but you raise your head high and march forward with your crew behind you as support. There are those that believe in your work, those that have hope for the future and what is to come of it, and those that still find you a nuisance - a pain in plans that have been sought out for sometime, specifically the Kett, more specifically the Archon. The Archon was not a very friendly alien nor was he appreciative of the smart comments thrown his way to hide the fear of what he could possibly do to you and your crew. You already decided long ago that you would sacrifice yourself for your Tempest Family but you did have any clue that it would come sooner, rather than later. You knew it was dangerous to track down the Archon, but if you didn't - who would? It was a shame to say that he outmaneuvered you and your teammates...with a special sort of trap.
"A great day for us all."
It was a force field that trapped anything alive and held it suspending above the ground, indefinitely. He left with his words twisting in your gut but you forced the fear of failure down to the deepest part of your soul and kept your eyes ignited with a fire and determination to escaped. You didn't have a plan as to how you would escape an inescapable trap, but apparently SAM did and you didn't know how to feel about the possibility of dying...and not coming back.
"Whoa, whoa, who--kinda don't want to die today SAM"
"After stopping your heart I would attempt to resuscitate of course"
When the thought of death crossed your mind you didn't think much of it. You were not a stranger to death especially when you learned about your mother's condition and slowly watched her deteriorate as your father grew more and more distant. You had Scott by your side but your family was slowly breaking and you tried your best to hold all of the pieces as tightly as possible because you didn't want to imagine fully losing everyone. They were your life and despite sometimes thinking that leaving and changing your name may better yourself...you always dismiss that thought as quickly as it passes through your mind. You were a Ryder and you weren't known for running away so why do so now when your family needed you most
Death wasn't something you feared, or so you had thought, until you were confronted with a choice to either save yourself and your teammates from a trap, or possibly die slowly from starvation as you float in midair by some force. You could hear the various words floating from Jaal, from Liam, but none of them fully reached your ears. Your heart rate had picked up without your consent and you were grateful that they were behind you because last thing you wanted your comrades to see was fear in your brilliantly blue eyes.
"All right. Let's do it."
You know SAM said something in response but you were focused on the sound of your own heartbeat slowing down (was that even possible)...You swear you see a flash of your life in a blur of colors and the next thing you knew you felt darkness' embrace and the fleeting sound of your armor touching the ground before you felt like you were in an abyss. Was this death? An eternal nothingness? Empty space with no light waiting for you on the other side? Your mother or even your father there to guide you to the afterlife despite SAM saying he was going to bring you back? Would you awaken, or would you just forever drift?
You find yourself relaxing.
"Stimulating the cardiovascular core..."
"Stimulating the cardiovascular core..."
On the second attempt just as you were about to drift completely into nothingness, your body jerks you awake and you are gasping for air like a fish out of water. SAM has saved you and you heard collective sighs of relief from behind you but all you think about was how far you almost succumbed to darkness's embrace. You are glad that you did not and that you were able to be brought back to life because you wouldn't want to have left your crew without a leader, your twin without his other half once he awoke to realize he lost all remaining family. You knew what you needed to do and that was to save the universe from Kett scum and you couldn't do that dead.
Now could you?
Nothing could compare to what happens to you when you make it to Meridian. When you find its core and activate it in order to help other planets become habitable. You were about to grin with success when your vision starts to flicker and his voice drowns out everyone else's. When he causes you immense pain that zips throughout your body like a bolt of lightning.
"SAM? Tempest...what is going on?"
You hear the retched voice of the Archon feel your head as you struggle to push through. Your teammates struggle to help you but you do not hear their voices, your head is filled to the brim of the cruel voice that has now the knowledge of Scott and the abilities of SAM and the implants. You know you have to keep struggling but the pain that crackles through you body is immense as if struck by one too many streaks of lightning. Your brain is going haywire as you try to remember to put one foot in front of the other but it is becoming increasingly difficult to do anything. You eyes grow heavy as you halt at the closing metal door of Meridian, the future to all of Milky Way inhabitants as well as those of Andromeda, but you falter.
"I believed you a fitting rival, but you are a false thing. A lie."
You reach out bracing against the door to somehow will it open but you slip.
"Fall to darkness, Pathfinder. You were almost worthy."
You fall as if you were a bag of rocks thrown into a lake. You hear the cries of your teammates both physically as well as those on the Tempest. This version of death was not the one SAM temporarily granted you...this was the opposite and you had no way of fighting back as your body rebelled against you at every movement. The shadows danced across your vision as you succumbed to the darkness in pain with the last thought of leaving everyone to their doom.
Only I can change my life. No one else can do it for me.
The sound of monitors beeping, soft chatter, and a voice both familiar yet foreign sounding throughout your head stirs you. You fight to push yourself back further and further into the darkness that was warm and silent and not the noise of awareness and cold. Your body aches, you want to scream, to cry, to yell out everything that seemed to have trapped itself beneath your rib cage but you don't make a noise. Every breath you take feels like you're breathing in shards of glass that embeds itself deeper into your flesh and you can't help the soft cry of pain that passes through your cracked lips. Your body fights as if it still wants to shut you done and you can't fully grasp why you feel that way but you do hear the soft voices grow louder and that means the others are aware of you being awake.
Your voice cracks almost causing you to cough behind the mask that covers your nose and mouth. It dawns on you that it was an oxygen mask as you force your eyes open to be met with the glimmering white ceiling to bright for your eyes. They squeeze shut tightly as you try to force away the lights hearing things swirl around you and clatter to the floor. You faintly here someone mention "she has powers" but their voice is distant and it just drills against your ears furthermore. You didn't have time to feel sorry for yourself or understand the pounding beat of a machine that had to have been a heart monitor because people were dying...your brother was in trouble. You open your mouth once more only to close it as you tried to remember why they were dying.
Why your brother was in danger?
"Sara...your memory has been fractured"
Your eyes pop open as you suddenly found the strength to lounge forward despite the pain that shatters through your frame. The sudden movement caused a few people to be pushed away from your bed but right now your attention was on the voice in your head. It was not your inner voice...no this was a voice you've known for some time and you've come to rely on it as a companion another brother although without its own body. You feel your eyes water and it stings, god does it sting to feel water coat your eyes before slipping from them and down your cheeks. In one line you were able to gather that part of you was missing and you were alone - physically. Your eyes focused on the world around you ignoring those trying to help you as you struggled to leave your bed.
You did not recognize this place.
SAM didn't need to mention that they weren't back in Andromeda...he didn't need to mention that you left behind your love, your partner (although you couldn't remember his name...you could remember that his eyes carried the galaxies themselves and he made you feel safe), your crew on The Tempest (it was called the Tempest...right? A ship under your command?), and a bunch of people counting on you (your twin among those numbers).
Counting on you for what exactly?
"My apologies, Sara. When I reconnected with your implant it was inevitable that your memories would be altered in order to sustain your life. There was too much going through your system from the shock that in order for us both to continue life--they had to be suppressed."
You was faintly aware of doctors trying to talk to you, they had to be doctors...right? Or the fact that you were trembling on the brink of passing out once more but instead you tried to focus on the whys and the hows of what was going on with you only to find resistance. Why did you need to be reconnected or why do you feel like you've died and been brought back to life only to be slammed by a tram-car. SAM was protecting you from something that could potentially prevent your recovery. You could sense, feel, his hesitation when speaking because he already deemed your mind fragile and if anyone knew better it would be the AI. You were grateful that you could remember SAM at least because having another voice in your head that you didn't recognize would have been bad no matter the world.
You felt something sharp press against your wrist and you gasp in a panic calling out for SAM, for Scott, for anyone that could potentially save you from this moment but you were met with hushed voices and soothing sounds. You didn't want the icy liquid that flowed through your veins to take over but your eyes were already started to drift shut. You had one last question.
"Elysion - Planet: Unknown. Galaxy: Unknown."