...like a piece of goshdarn metal.
Here's the gist of it. I've been working on a Mass Effect/Metroid crossover to help out my writing ability (and yes, that's nerdy. That is very, very nerdy). Mostly, I'm trying to focus on character development and/or dilemmas. I like using fanfiction as a testing bed for more serious original projects.
So, I've realized that I've been having some trouble creating a 'character' for Commander Shepard in it. Compared to Samus (a traumatized Bounty Hunter and mission-focused stoic) and Rundas (a friendly yet dangerous badass with a love for his job and his home, but still arrogant and rather cocky), Shepard's not too developed (read "little to no flaws"). He's pretty much the general good guy. He's the usual hero, always doing good and whatnot, and generally being nice. Not much of a character to him. A male 'Mary Sue', if you will.
With this, I also noticed that my Shepard was beginning to seem rather... callous. He focuses more towards himself and the mission rather than on others. His conversations are short and supply him with information or ideas, and he doesn't really care what the other participant feels. Most of the people he brought onto his crew presented some benefit to him. Garrus was a good sniper, Wrex a combat expert, Tali an engineer. So, I'm going to take this a little further as his relationships with other characters grow. And then I'll use it to help bend him into a more three dimensional character in his own right. Part of this was inspired by finally seeing Sherlock today.
Basically, I've kind of got a scene in mind where this is summarized (involving a talk between him and Garrus after some pretty traumatic stuff goes down):
..."It's always been about me," Shepard said, shaking his head. "On Mindoir, I always succeeded. Highest grades, best athlete. The teachers and students loved me. Friends came to me without effort. I was a king. After the siege, I didn't care much. People died, yes, but I didn't really know them too well. It was just another challenge to endure, in my eyes. Just another step towards eventual greatness. I joined the Alliance. I worked hard. Succeeded. And the same thing happened. The friends and the respect came to me. When the batarians raided Elysium, people looked to me to guide them. And I did. We won that night, and I became a hero. A goddamn hero. And the Alliance would never let me forget it.
"A few years later, it happens again. Our darkest hour, the galaxy looks to me to save it. I go off to take down Saren. I become the first human Specter. The people I bring along were there to help me, not anything else. Wrex, Tali, even you, Garrus. Sure, I learned to care about you guys as friends, but it was never much. The only thing I thought about was me and what could help me. And after we win, what happens? I'm a hero again. I'm christened humanity's best and brightest. 'Savior of the Citadel' they called me. The greatest hero in the galaxy. And I relished it. All the praise, all the cheering was mine. Humility be damned. I felt I deserved it.
"And now, when I finally begin to care about someone other than myself. When I finally open up my life to include another. When I just now begin to actually let someone else's troubles, their deepest, heartfelt problems affect me, they're taken from me. And for once, I feel pain. I feel fear. And all I want to do is let it go and return to the high and mighty hero I once was." The commander shook his head, and mopped his face with his hand. He then went silent for a moment. "I'm no hero," he finally said. "I'm just a damn narcissist looking for ways to inflate my ego. To win the hearts of others. To win praise. To win... pride." He sighed. "I don't deserve anything. Not the praise. Not the respect. Not Tali. Nothing."
--End that bit of text--
Kind of reveals the character in a new light. Rather than being goody two shoes, like he seems, he's really a self-focused, prideful human being who's too used to the spotlight to know anything different. And when he finally begins to learn to care for others on a personal basis, he's violently forced to accept losing them as well.
Interesting? Not so much? Too anvilicious?
Please, comment and tell me what you think!