Shepard Meme | Starchild | How was Shep’s childhood? Friends, schooling - did they like where they grew up?

Shepard joined the 10th Street Reds at age 10; at the time it was little more than a gang of wayward kids and teens, a lot of them from broken homes or the foster system in a poor area of the city that was so old and neglected it hadn’t been digitised; no automated dispensers, no digital signage. they got into trouble, petty crimes like theft and vandalism the main bag, and the older kids got into things like selling drugs and, bigger thefts, and scams. Beyond that, the Reds were a makeshift family of poor and downtrodden kids bonding as they basically raised themselves.

She had lots of friends, but foster kids, herself included, tended not to let anyone get too close, for fear that the friendship would be temporary. The camaraderie of the Reds was one thing, but they still scattered and looked after themselves when the police showed up. 

Her attendance at school was hit and miss to put it lightly - she was already in state care, so there wasn’t much else that could be done to incentivise her legal guardians to make her go. She didn’t graduate high school, and facing being kicked out of the foster system, signing up for the alliance military seemed like the only option. She had no idea it would be the best thing she’d ever done.

Now Andromeda considers what the Reds became - a violent alien hate group - and wonders what might have happened if kids had had more choices than staying in that life or enlisting like she did.