Monday, May 9, 2011

ME1 - Gathering Evidence

Commander Meriel Shepard's story continues as she wakes up in the SSV Normandy's medical facility after a less than successful mission on Eden Prime.

There are spoilers after the break.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Four

Location: The Normandy Medical Facility
Active Companions: None

The worst part about being in a coma is coming out of it.  It's not like I have a great deal of experience in these matters, but at least while I was in the arms of oblivion I did not have to face my team's failures.  I know full and well that our failure on Eden Prime was not our fault, it was Saren's, but it will be a lot of fun convincing the Council of their precious Spectre's betrayal.  Not only that, but I will have to explain Nihlus' and Jenkin's murder as well.  That, of course, is not to mention the loss of the beacon. No, the coma sounds like a better place to be right now.

I must give credit where credit is due, however, by admitting that I am  rather fortunate in my relationship  with Captain Anderson.  He trusts me, I trust him, and I can come to verbal blows with him (in private) without having to worry about him perceiving it as insubordination.  As expected, he called me out on not meeting our Eden Prime objectives, which in turn gave me a chance to be angry about the lack of intel we had going in.  Both of us are worried about the sudden emergence of the geth in such great numbers.  Their kind  haven't been in our neck of the woods for almost two hundred years.  As one would expect, the council is out for blood regarding the death of Nihlus and the destruction of their precious beacon.  I figure they can go to hell, but the captain thinks that they would not take very kindly to that response.  Thus, it looks like we are on our way to the Citadel to face the music.  The Captain says that he will support me no matter what the Council says, but I don't want him putting his neck out too far for me.  All we have as proof that Saren is involved is the word of a terrified dock worker, and all we have to warn of pending doom is my beacon induced nightmare.  This should go swimmingly.

As a side note, Williams has joined the Normandy's crew in Jenkins' place.  It will be good to have her on board.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Five

Location: The Citadel - Human Embassy; Council Chamber
Active Companions: None

Ambassador Udina was far less understanding about the whole matter on Eden Prime and I suspect he's worried a bit too much about his political hide than he is the actual situation.  That said, I shouldn't complain too much because he did manage to convince the Council to grant us a full assembly so that the issue of Saren's treason might be discussed.  The Council, he says, will not like hearing their top agent being accused, but at this point what else do we really have?

After a trek across the Citadel to that pretentious tower of theirs, the Council finally deigned to meet with us.  As the Ambassador guessed, they were not happy to haveSaren accused of treason and their half hearted investigation into the matter certainly is proof of that.  It didn't turn anything up, they said, so he must be innocent.  (Well that clears it up guys!  I guess Nihlus shot himself through back of the head.)  You know I usually pride myself in keeping my composure rather well.  It doesn't serve one to let one's temper loose when dealing with the people who can make your life miserable by simply raising a finger.  Unfortunately, once Saren's holo joined the Council I could barely reign it in.  Here they had a Spectre who had jeopardized my entire mission, was clearly in league with the enemy, was using Council funds to assist his mission, had killed another of their precious Spectres in cold blood, and I was the one being accused of hot-headedness, carelessness and being a general waste of the Council's time.  I tried to make them see reason, but their hearts were so obviously closed to anything outside of what they wanted to hear.  When asked if I had anything else to add I finally just threw up my hands.  What was the point in saying anything else?  They had already made up their minds.  I certainly wasn't going to just let this matter rest simply because they declared Saren innocent, but that doesn't mean I was going to waste my breath when I know it will not do me any good.  I didn't get this far by not learning to pick my battles.  As expected, they sided with their precious Spectre, but neither I, Ambassador Udina, nor Captain Anderson intend to let this rest.  Something I saw earlier indicates that proof may rest on this very station and with Alenko and William's help I will find out what it is.
Meriel's Journal, Entry Six

Location: The Citadel
Active Companions: Alenko/Williams; Garrus/Wrex

We finally found the evidence we needed, but it took a little bit of doing and a couple of shoot outs to make it happen.  After hunting down some lowlife named Harkin in the local cess pool, Chora's Den (no I did not take time off to ogle the dancing girls), I finally managed to get him to reveal the location of a certain Garrus.  On our way to the Council hearing my team and I had managed to over hear Garrus insist that there was proof to be found regarding Saren.  The Council's appointee, in true fashion, had shot him down though.  It was worth dealing with the skeezy Harkin if it meant I could find this information.  If Harkin'd called me "princess" one more time though, I probably would have done him in before his drinking habits could.

Garrus wasn't hard to find since anyone can tell you where Dr. Michel's med clinic is, but let's just say that the gun fire we ran into upon entering her office told me that something was not right.  It reminded me that there really isn't a whole lot we know about him, and out information source was a bit dodgy at best.  Still, it was the best we had to go on at the time so we cleared the clinic, saved the doctor, and then came face to face with our target.  Well, okay, credit where credit is due.  Garrus himself made the critical shot which saved the doctor so that places him partially in my good book ... for now.  Dr. Michel, who I also have no prior information on, said that the men using my team for target practice belonged to a group called The Fist.  Or maybe it was to the man called Fist.  They had been trying to keep Garrus from sharing information about a Quarian with the doctor.  I'm not sure I understand it all, but apparently there is someone called the Shadow Broker who generally operates as the underworld's go-to man, the doctor had directed the Quarian to him so she could have a place to hide, and this alien had information she was willing to share in exchange for safety.  Garrus suspects that the Quarian has something that Saran wants and is willing to cross the Shadow Broker for.  My God this is worse than politics.  Well, okay, so it is politics but with more rought edges.  I suppose I should be thankful that at least everyone's motivations are on the table for all to see.

In short, Garrus feels like Saren is a disgrace to his people and wants to take him down.  He wanted to join my team so that he could get this information that he just knows will expose Saren to the Council, and to be honest I'm not stupid enough to refuse trained help when it is couched in those terms.  After picking up even more muscle by the name of Wrex (this one had with a bone to pick with the Chora Den's crime lord ... I knew that place was bad news), we headed back to the bar.  I'm not one to blindly trust crew that no one else knows, but with Farrus' personal vendetta against Saren and Wrex a bounty hunter in the Shadow Broker's pay, I figured that they had the most motivation to shake down Fist with me.  So, with them at my back, and a predictable fight later, we came face to face with  the crime lord himself.  Motivated by my gun at his head, it didn't take long for Fist to reveal that he had deceived the Quarian,  under the guise of getting her to the Shadow Broker, and sent her too her death .  It's like the man had no sense of self preservation, since here he was signing his own death warrant.  If I'd been him I'd atleast held something back so that my enemies wouldn't just kill me.  Instead, with his information shared, Fist found himself dead on the floor.  I would have done his lying hide in myself, but Wrex beat me to it.  Good on him.

We rushed to the Qunarian's aide, but she (Tali'Zorah nar Rayya) honestly had the situation well in hand.  More importantly, she had the audio proof we needed to prove Saren traitor.  Ambassador Udina, in his usual grumpy fashion, was a bit miffed at me for suddenly appearing his office with three new hanger-ons (well our recent shoot out in the lower wards may have been bothering him as well), but he was happy enough to receive Tali's proof.  After I agreed to let Tali join the Normandy's crew as well, since it seems we will need all the help we can get if we are to handle everything the geth throw at us, Udina grudgingly contacted the Council again.  Oh they are just going to love this.

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