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I'd like to say working with you is a great opportunity to do something that matters.
~ Jacob Taylor to Commander Shepard

Jacob Taylor is one of the main protagonists of the video game Mass Effect 2, and a supporting protagonist in its sequel Mass Effect 3. He is a powerful biotic and former Alliance soldier, who joined Cerberus due to them being more proactive, and an old friend of Miranda Lawson. He and Miranda are the two squad members available from the beginning of the game, due to being members of Cerberus.

He was voiced by Adam Lazarre-White.

Background

Born in 2157, Jacob joined the Alliance military and served for 5 years, most especially serving as a Corsair: an alliance initiative program that performed missions outside of Alliance jurisdictions. Later on, Jacob leaves the Corsairs and is assigned to Eden Prime, where he was present during Saren and the geth attack on the colony. A month after Eden Prime and the geth attack on the Citadel, Jacob gets disillusioned and frustrated by the Alliance and the Council whitewashing the geth attack, and resigns from the Alliance after a five year service. Later on, after collaborating with Miranda to stop a batarian attack on the Citadel, Jacob joins Cerberus in order to serve humanity without too much to hold him back, although he is still cautious of Cerberus' shady nature.

Mass Effect 2

In Mass Effect 2, Jacob is assigned as Miranda's top lieutenant in the Lazarus Cell, where they are conducting the Lazarus Project, a large project with the aim of resurrecting Commander Shepard. Over the next two years with the project near completion, the Lazarus Station gets attacked by hacked mechs. Jacob fights them off, and is joined by an early awoken Commander Shepard. Together with Miranda, they escape the station. On the Illusive Man's orders, Jacob accompanies Shepard on a mission to Freedom's Progress, which has recently gone silent. With Miranda's help, they discover the Collectors are behind the mass abductions.

After the mission, Jacob serves as the Armory Officer aboard the newly build Normandy SR2, charged with maintaining and stockpiling the team's weapons. Jacob before hand asks for Shepard's help. His father years ago crash landed on an alien planet, and now he wants to see if he's alive. But when he sees his father, he learns he has made a corrupted tribal people where he is in charge, and ultimately makes a terrible leader.

Jacob is ashamed of his father, and either leaves him to be arrested by the alliance, gives him a half charged pistol to kill himself before the crazed crew can, or leave him to his fate with the crew. A female Shepard can also pursue a romance with Jacob.

Depending on Shepard's preparation and choices, Jacob can either survive or die on the suicide mission.

Mass Effect 3

If Jacob survived the suicide mission, he comes back in Mass Effect 3, where he has left Cerberus upon seeing what the organization has become. A year ago, he met Brynn Cole, a Cerberus scientist, through a mutual friend in Cerberus' Mumbai cell. He found a lot in common between them, and a year later Dr. Cole approaches him again requesting his help and protection for a group of scientists who had also become disaffected with Cerberus. Jacob lends his assistance, and the two begin a relationship. They set up a refugee base on a secret location in Gellix, but Cerberus eventually finds and attacks them. Commander Shepard can assist them and help them evacuate the base before Cerberus overruns it. Jacob declines Shepard's invitation to return to the Normandy, preferring to remain with the scientists. Jacob ships out with the ex-Cerberus scientists aiding with the Crucible project, lending his support in whatever way he can. His job includes guarding the scientists' families, finding them places to bunk, and giving intel on Cerberus activities as well as participating in missions against them.

Jacob later on can be found at Huerta Memorial Hospital in the Citadel. When Shepard comes to greet him, he reveals that Dr. Cole is pregnant with his child, a girl. He decides that he will become a better father than his was. He also mentions that Cole plans to name the child "Shepard", to which Commander Shepard is honored.

During the final battle for Earth, if Jacob is contacted. he suggests they celebrate at a little bar in Rio if they win the war. At the end, if Commander Shepard chooses to use the Crucible to destroy the Reapers, Jacob is seeing speaking to Alliance personnel. If Shepard uses the Crucible to merge all synthetic and organic life, Jacob can be seen together with Brynn.


Personality

Doing a good job here is like peeing your pants in a dark suit — you get a warm feeling but no one else notices.
~ Jacob's cynicism

Jacob is a very honest and straightforward person; unlike some members of the Cerberus Normandy crew (Kelly, Miranda etc.), he has no illusions of how shady and checkered Cerberus is, and has never fully trusted the Illusive Man. The only reason he's with Cerberus in the first place is because he admires them for their tendency to act when faced with problems, in contrast to the Alliance and Council, who often worry over politics and bureaucracy. Cynical where intergalactic authority is concerned, Jacob joined Cerberus in large part because he wished to make a difference, and felt this was the only way to do it. However even as a member of Cerberus, he considers his routine to be rather dull, usually only using his gun for target practice. It's because of this that he sees working with Shepard as "a great opportunity to do something that matters."

Jacob is described by Joker as too nice a person to be a member of Cerberus (an ironic appraisal given Joker's own loyalty to Cerberus at the time); he is very polite and respectful and often serves as a voice of reason, particularly to Renegade-Shepard; if told by Shepard that he/she doesn't trust him, he takes it in stride and says that he'll simply have to earn that trust. Similarly, if Shepard objects to being cannon fodder for mechs while Tali, Prazza and the other quarians grab Veetor, he points out that he, Shepard and Miranda are better equipped for a frontal assault than the quarians are. He also stands up for Shepard when Miranda is testing his/her memories and personality. Additionally, he is highly sympathetic towards the people of Omega, saying that no-one should have to live the way they do. Like Miranda and Kelly, he lacks the xenophobia that most members of Cerberus have, attempting to be friendly to Tali when she's first recruited (though she is not appreciative of his gestures), and never disparaging or expressing any contempt for aliens.

Jacob's strong morals sometimes cause friction with others however; he is hostile to and suspicious of Thane Krios due to his past as an assassin, considering assasssins to be nothing more than "precise mercenaries", and being unconvinced by a Paragon Shepard's reassurances. Also, while he and Miranda have a mutual respect for one another, Jacob's higher level of idealism and preference for non-ruthless behavior leads him to sometimes criticize or object to some of Miranda's actions, such as her not telling Shepard right away that they work for Cerberus, pointing out to her that lying to Shepard is a poor way to get them to join their cause.

Jacob tends to be professional and emotionally distant; he dislikes dwelling on past tragedies, even extreme ones such as discovering the truth about what kind of a man his father was. Though enraged and disgusted with his father in the moment, Jacob quickly puts it behind him and refuses to talk about it again. That said, Jacob has a hidden appreciation for arcade games, playing them alongside Shepard on the Citadel in Mass Effect 3.

For all his morals though, Jacob can still be selfish at times, most notably when, if romanced by Shepard he breaks up with her later due to having grown tired of waiting for Shepard despite the latter having not been absent for so very long.

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