Isolation.

“The closed door is a curious object. Secures a world inside or ensures one stays out. Harbinger of fear and joy in equal measure. Barrier both physical and mental requiring an act of will to remove. It keeps the sad isolated and the joyous together. Humble custodian, both guardian and jailer. There is little more truly powerful, more deeply terrifying than the closed door.”

– Unattributed parchment, discovered by Hammerite guards upon the inspection of an empty cell in Cragscleft Prison.

Regret.

“There comes a point where you start to wonder why you never gave it any serious thought before. You’re a smart guy and you could be making ten times what you do now. You’d have to break the law but really how big a deal is that in this country? You could do it without anybody getting hurt and even if they did what is it to you? You already see yourself as better than those around you, what does it matter if they get hurt? So you start to really think about it, and it’s funny at first. Idle speculation, something to fill the boring moments. You forget that all your life is is boring moments so suddenly it’s all you think about. So you have to try at least once, put one of those plans into action because just thinking about it gets to you eventually.  So yeah, you do it, and it works and you get away with it. That just reinforces the belief that you really are better that everybody else, so of course you do it again. Before you have time to adjust you’re making more money in a night than you used to in a month. It only gets easier from there, soon you’re not even doing anything yourself anymore, you’ve got people to do it for you. You’re working nine to five, sleeping in on weekends, and making more money than you know what to do with. So do I regret it? Fuck no what’s to regret?”

–  Transcription of a interview with Sergei Zavorotko, conducted 6 months before his death in Sicily. [Translated]

Love.

“What happened to that nice young girl you brought home last year..?”
“She was not a young girl mother, she was only two years younger than
me.”
“And you’re still my little girl. Now don’t avoid the question. She
was lovely and she had a thing for you anyone could see that.”
“… It wasn’t working. We decided to go our separate ways.”
“I see, and who’s decision was that exactly?”
“Mother… I don’t have the time to discuss my love life, put Dad on.”
“Never have the time…”
“Mother…”
“Fine…”
“… She only wants what’s best for you, we both do.”
“I know Dad…”
“And that Michelle really was a lovely girl, attractive too…”
“Dad…”
“I know, I know you don’t want to talk about it… But there’s so little you can talk about.”
“It’s the Alliance Dad, you know what it’s like.”
“It’s not easy for us sometimes, honey, especially not after what happen during the Blitz.”
“You don’t need to worry about that Dad, we made sure those bastards paid…”
“Jaina! I didn’t raise my little girl to talk like that.”
“… I’m sorry Dad. Look I’ve got to go, we’re about to… Well I’ve got to go.”
“OK, honey, now remember your mother and I love you, so you watch your back out there.”
“I love you too Dad.”
“… And give our love to Michelle.”
“Mom…”

– From the communications log of Commander Jaina Shepard, SSV Normandy, 2183 CE.

Fear.

“This is the kind of case that makes you want to believe in true evil, to believe that only someone who’s honest to God evil could do something like that. But that’s not how it is, is it? He’s not evil, being evil would make him special but there’s nothing special about him, he’s just pathetic. Pathetic and all too human. And you know that’s the worst part. He’s not so different from anybody else really, just one more fucked up soul in a world going to shit. I guess that’s what scares me most, he’s just like any of us, so maybe any of us could be just like him.”

– Excerpt from the diary of Special Agent Ethan Thomas, 2 weeks prior to the Serial Killer X incident.

Betrayal.

“It hits you like a shock wave; that moment when you realise exactly where your friendship ends. Sure you have disagreements, who doesn’t? But this is different. Worse is you see he doesn’t even realise what’s happened. This burning mark seared into you friendship and he can’t even see that it’s him holding the brand. By now you’re no longer surprised, he actually thinks he’s doing you a favour, like you’ll owe him something for it down the way. What you once saw as just a strange quirk of his personality is revealed as the harsh reality of his worldview. You’re just a thing for him to use when he has need of you. And right now you are not required… But that’s ironically appropriate, it gives you the time to ensure that when he does need you, you’ll be long gone. Sure you could stay, try to help him sort his out problems but to what end? It’s clear he doesn’t even see the trouble he’s responsible for, his view of the world won’t abide it. So he can keep it, slate’s cleared you don’t owe him anything any longer. His fate is with the stars now…”

– Personal Log of Fleet Admiral Ras’Tok Lun commanding the Star Fleet Temperance, 2 hours before his forces abandoned the defense of Cor Caroli. [Translated]