I've always had a mercenary attitude. Always only ever worked for money or profit. Something useful had to be gained or else it had no worth. I've also always been a lone wolf. Solitary. Not really finding others enough like me to want to be around for extended periods of time. I've had many jobs, lived many places, always unfulfilled, always moving on, searching for...something. However, recently, I heard about this thing called the #retakemasseffect movement. I started looking into it on the web, and something clicked inside. I knew I had to help somehow. So I joined up. Now, this isnt like me. Normally I would never give my time freely for something that didn't have a gain in it, or that wasnt entertaining or fun. Volunteering is something I've never done. Now, you can say that maybe saving the game by getting a real ending is a gain. But if I were my usual self, that's all I would care about and would focus on. But instead, I'm meeting all these people who actually share a passion of mine. Feel like I do. Come to the same conclusions I do on their own without having to be taught or shown to understand. It's unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I'm actually having fun! While working! That's never happened before. Any other job I've ever worked on they only hired me for my body, not my mind. I was just a body to do a repetitive dronelike task better suited to a machine, but people are cheaper. I was treated just like a machine to them. Expendable and replaceable. It's very unfulfilling. But with this? These people don't want my help for my body. They actually want me for my mind! My imagination. My creativity. My ideas. My writing skills. My intelligence. My passion. I feel like a person! Cared about and appreciated. So I, like the honorable organizers and leaders of the movement, have been spending what seems like 20 hour days working, grabbing maybe 5 hours of sleep, then repeating for going on a week now. They have been at it much longer than me, and they started from nothing. It was much less organized back then. I respect them so much for that! And this comes at an especially vulnerable time in my life. I was in a car accident in October and lost the ability to walk. Lost the job I had, which had good money but was a miserable thing to do. Working in a Toyota factory. Lost my car. Lost my apartment. The girl in my life abandoned me since I was no longer useful. I lost everything important in my life. It would have been easy to give up. It would be very difficult to regain the ability to walk, and then start rebuilding my life over again from scratch with the ashes. And then came Mass Effect 3. I had been waiting 5 years for this. One of the only bright spots in the four months of surgeries and rehabs and feeling helpless. Something, for once, to look forward to. Give me hope. And while playing it, I was starting to feel like myself again. Running around with friends and passion, fighting. Dealing with circumstances. Living. Not giving up, despite the odds. Shepard was beginning to inspire me as I roleplayed him. Shepard IS me. And then, in the end...to...to see that it was all for nothing, that no matter what I did, it would end this way. I wondered if I should have just stayed dead when the Normandy SR1 was attacked by the Collectors. What was the point in me even coming back? And what was the point in me recovering from my car accident? Should I have just died? Should I bother getting back up? What for, if in the end, it doesn't even matter? Well, Shepard would never give up, and neither will I! In fact, through months of physical therapy and surgery, I have gained the ability to walk again. My mind, heart and spirit aren't healed yet but they'll catch up with my body. I'll get a job and get back out there and live! And we will also defeat the Reapers and protect the galaxy, as is our mandate. Destroying the mass relays is an unacceptable cost to defeat the Reapers. It undermines the point in saving everyone if you trap them with nowhere to live in space. They'll die anyway. Shepard would have found a way. I would have too. Or died trying. This was never about saving future civilizations and species. It was about humanity, asari, turians, salarians, krogan, quarians, elcor, hanar, volus, drell, geth. Hell, even the vorcha. It's us I want to save. That Shepard wants to save. It's a good feeling though, to be active again. And working. I'm being assigned projects and executing them. Spreading the word. Recruiting. Emails. Petitions. The testimony video. Organizing two new projects, related fanart, and another music video to express how we feel. The most interesting part? I care so much about this that I'm hardly even playing Mass Effect anymore! I haven't played in days. I'm so busy working. It feels good! To care about something! I respect those who are trying to help while also having to work a full time job that much more! It is draining but fulfilling and we are happy! None of us are alone. And we shouldn't feel that way.