This piece was inspired by the end of Mass Effect 3, specifically the Destroy (red) ending, which is kind of obvious since it's the only one that allows Shepard to live.
So, just saying this right now that I know all about the controversy related to the ending of Mass Effect 3. If you're here to tell me all about it, just leave. I know it well, I fought in those trenches, I've heard all the artists creative rights versus original promises stuff, and I've already moved on. I think the original endings were way under-detailed, rushed, and the Extended Cut really did satisfy me as a player. Now you know how I feel, and you know that I'm not interested in discussing it further.
Moving on, those who played the game correctly know that a high EMS, combined with choosing to destroy the Reapers, gave you two things: Firstly, your companion wouldn't actually put your name on the memorial (in the Extended Cut), and you got the small bonus cutscene that showed what we assume to be Shepard's chest, drawing a breath in the rubble, and cut to black.
It should be well known at this point that I'm a horrid Liara-mancer, I absolutely love her, and their story together is my favorite part of the Mass Effect universe. So, I was a bit disappointed that we didn't get to see them re-unite. And here we are: Liara, still wounded from the battle, finds her lover barely alive on the Citadel.
Originally I had planned to have this one be a lot more epic, with the Normandy in the background, some dead Reapers floating in the background, Garrus signaling the search parties, maybe some debris, but as I added more there, it just seemed to detract from what I really wanted: A tender moment between these two. And as I focused more on them, the background elements just seemed like noise. It's clear to me that, if this happened, these two would be so focused on each other that nothing in the universe would exist to either of them for about 5 minutes; that's the moment I wanted to capture.
Thanks for looking.
© Liara, Shepard - Bioware