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Clone (Mass Effect)

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Look at you. What makes you so damned special? Why you and not me?
~ Clone to Commander Shepard

The Clone is a genetic duplicate of Commander Shepard created by Cerberus during Project Lazarus. After escaping confinement, it hired a mercenary gang and planned to kill the Commander and steal their identity. The Clone is one of the two main antagonists of the Citadel DLC in Mass Effect 3, along with Maya Brooks. The Clone is voiced by the same two people who voice Shepard- Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale.

History

Mass Effect: Foundation

The Clone was created by Cerberus to provide spare organs and limbs for the real Commander Shepard, who was being revived by the Lazarus Project. At some point in its development it was stored in the Minuteman Station, skinless and under life support. Once Cerberus obtained Shepard's Spectre dossier the Illusive Man deprioritized the Clone project and allowed project overseer Miranda Lawson to continue using it for testing.

Sometime later, the order was given for the Clone to be terminated. However, Agent Rasa had other ideas and decided to liberate it from Cerberus hands. A subsequent shootout at Lazarus Research Station resulted in Rasa severing ties with Cerberus and escaping with the Clone's tank.

The Clone remained in storage until six months before the Reaper invasion, when it was awoken by Rasa (then calling herself Maya Brooks). Over the months during Shepard's incarceration, the Clone learned "how to be human" using neural implants, and with Brooks' help devised a plan to kill and assume the role of the real Commander Shepard in order to carry out a pro-human agenda. To accomplish this, the Clone hired the CAT6 private military corporation to eliminate Shepard and his/her friends, since the Clone lacked the original's memories and was unable to perfectly impersonate the Commander.

Mass Effect 3: Citadel

Some time after Cerberus' attempted assassination on the Citadel, the Clone sets its plan into motion while Commander Shepard is ordered to go on shore leave. It purchases arms for its CAT6 troops via arms dealer Elijah Khan, hacks databases to steal Shepard's classified files, and sets a trap at a popular sushi restaurant in the Silversun Strip with the intent of obtaining Shepard's Spectre code.

The Clone successfully obtains the Spectre code, but the original manages to escape being killed. To compensate, it uses Brooks to tie up loose ends by having Khan executed then luring Shepard and friends into another trap at the Citadel Archives by intentionally using the Spectre code to get itself and its mercenaries in.

Pretending to hold Brooks hostage during a clash between its troops and Shepard's team, the Clone finally reveals itself and shares part of its life story and motivations. It puts up a signal blocker to intercept any transmissions, and manages to obtain the Normandy SR-2's command codes in the process. Impersonating the real Shepard and telling Samantha Traynor to get the Normandy prepped for emergency launch, the Clone orders its mercs to execute Shepard and friends and moves deeper into the Archives.

Shepard and team thwart the kill order, but the Clone's plan to have them all sealed within the Archives' iridium vaults ultimately becomes successful. Before trapping Shepard and their squad in one of the vaults, the Clone and Brooks now reveal the full extent of their plan. The Clone makes a show of pointing out that handprints can't be cloned, and promptly updates the Commander's records with the Clone's own biometrics before setting out to be captain of the Normandy.

The trap doesn't last for long however, and Shepard and friends soon resume the chase. The Clone, meanwhile, begins taking over the ship, fires Traynor for "fraternization"/"conduct unbecoming", and disposes of Shepard's cabin accessories in a big bin. Upon learning that the real Shepard has boarded the ship, it orders its troops to slow the Commander down, and heads down the armory to prepare for a final showdown.

Shepard and the Clone then fight in the shuttle bay and eventually Shepard tackles the Clone, causing them to tumble down the open boarding ramp and nearly fall off the edge. As Shepard's squadmates help the Commander up, the Clone looks up to Brooks and watches her turn her back. The Commander is then faced with either helping the Clone or kicking it off the ship to its death. If Shepard attempts the former, the Clone will refuse the original's aid and purposely fall to its death, spitefully asking what it can live for before letting go.

Personality

Squadmate: You're just a pale imitation of the real thing.
Clone: I'm the real thing perfected. I'm you without the wear and tear, Shepard. The doubts, the failures. I'm the lone wolf you were always meant to be.... without the emotional baggage holding me back.
~ The Clone claims to be the perfect version of Shepard, confirming its arrogance
Unlike the real Shepard, the Clone had a set personality; that of a petty and single-minded tyrant. It believed the Illusive Man abandoned it when he had what he wanted (the real Shepard) and became driven by an obsessive desire to become Shepard itself. This motivated it to kill the real Shepard and every single one of his/her squadmates, to which it referred to as the 'cult of Shepard'.

Being a creation of Cerberus, the Clone had a disdain for aliens and accused Shepard of forgetting about humanity, due to the fact that he/she had saved more alien lives than he/she had human. This clearly indicates that had its plan succeeded, the Clone would put humanity before every other race. The Clone was a ruthless soldier who saw emotions as a weakness and believed the real Shepard was being held back by their 'doubts', 'failures' and there squad, which it referred to as 'emotional baggage'. It was arrogant and had a very high opinion of itself, believing itself to be 'the real thing perfected' even though Shepard's squadmates considered it to be nothing more than a 'pale imitation'. Shepard themself later declared that the Clone was just 'one more mercenary thug'.

The Clone was shown to be callous, not caring at all about collateral damage and willing to kill anything that got in its way. It also showed next to no concern for its teammates, threatening to fire them if they didn't do their jobs and even referring to itself as a 'lone wolf' at one point. Furthermore, it didn't seem to have much faith in its team, as shown when it told them to slow Shepard down as opposed to killing him/her. Indeed, one of the mercenaries remarked that it saw them as nothing but 'cannon fodder'. It did, however, seem to be fond of Agent Brooks, describing her as its equivalent of Miranda Lawson. But the fact that she made no effort to save the Clone suggests that it treated her a similar way to how it treated the others, just not as obviously. Despite all this, the Clone claimed that its team was just as good as Shepard's, implying that it was also a hypocrite and more than a bit jealous that the real Shepard had such a good team. Its hypocrisy was further shown when it called Shepard a 'figurehead' to which they replied 'Then how come you want to be me so badly?'.

While it was usually calm and kept its emotions under control, the Clone would occasionally explode in childish fits of anger. Perhaps the most notable example of this is when Shepard informed the Clone that it didn't have what it took to be him/her, causing it to scream 'I'm Shepard! You hear me, asshole/bitch?! I'm Shepard!', to which Shepard replied with a solemn 'No, you're not.' Its obsession with becoming Shepard was so great, that when it realized it was beaten, it refused Paragon-Shepard's offer to be saved, believing it had no reason to live.

Trivia

  • The fight against the Clone is widely regarded as the stand-out boss fight of Mass Effect 3, and possibly the entire series, even outdoing Tela Vasir of Mass Effect 2, as the character has all of the same major abilities as the player's Shepard has. For example, an Infiltrator Shepard's clone will have cloaking, while a Vanguard Shepard's clone will have Charge and Nova abilities.

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