Thursday, May 12, 2011

ME1 - One's Own Command

Note: As you may have noticed, this post was published at midnight on Thursday but Blogger's downtime screwed things up and the post decided un-post itself.  Here it is again.  I apologize for the inconvenience.

With another hearing called, will the Council see reason and believe Shepard's evidence?

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

Meriel's Journal, Entry Seven

Location: The Citadel Tower
Active Companions: None

Ambassador Udina managed to finally arrange another meeting with the Council at the Citadel Tower.  He went before us all as I did my best to pull myself together.  I knew that I couldn't screw this up.  By the time I finally did arrive at the meeting it was already in session, and Udina was playing Tali's audio files to the Council.  Surely even they could not dismiss Saren's own voice linking him to the geth and Eden Prime.  (The recording also included his search for a mysterious "conduit" and something about a group called the Reapers.  I'll get to them in a second.)  Thankfully the Council finally saw that they could not continue turning a blind eye to their Spectre's actions.  The Asari's Council member also recognized a female voice on Tali's recording.  She identified it as a rather powerful Asari titled Matriarch Benezia.  This damning evidence didn't mean, of course, that the Council was willing to actually clean up their own mess or even offer help.  Instead, like all blasted politicians, they wanted to tear into the details.  According to Tali the Reapers that her recording mentioned were an ancient machine race that wiped out the Protheans ... the group who made Eden Prime's beacon.  I told the Council that these Reapers, the geth's ultimate goal, was why they followed Saren. 

Forget the Reapers, our illustrious Salarian Councilor countered, what about this "conduit"?  I really could not believe what I was hearing.  They just heard their own Spectre; a self confessed traitor, murder and liar; discuss his interest in the Reapers ... a series of sentient machines who wiped out an entire race ... and they want to talk about this Conduit?  Who cares? Did it really matter?  I asked them as much, and the Turian Councilor countered with a question about whether the Reapers were even real.  What proof do we have they existed?  he asked.  Where did they go all this time?  "If they were real, we'd have found something" to prove their existence before now, he said.  Remember how I mentioned the other day that I pride myself in my composure?  Let's just say that I left this meeting with it barely intact.  Defying all protocol I told the Council to not be fools.  No the Reapers were not obviously a myth Saren is using to bent the Reapers to his will.  Yes they are really a threat to us all.  Why could they not see this?

Eventually something clicked, for the Council seemed to see that I would not be backing down.  As a result, they finally tried a new tactic by claiming that their hands were tied.  They could not under any circumstances get "dragged into a galactic confrontation over a few dozen colonies."  They, like last time, had made up their minds.  I, however, was not simply going to back down like I did before.   I'd had it.  You know what?   Since it was one of their precious Spectres who'd started this mess then I didn't see why I should not be the Spectre to finish it.  Nhilus had wanted me to be a Spectre, and if that was what it took to get this blasted situation sorted out then a Spectre I'd be.  Not only that, but Specrtre status would ensure the freedom to take care of this situation in a way I saw fit without having to grapple with all the red tape.  I could let Udina deal with the red tape for me.  As expected, the Council was not happy with my proposal and they came up with all the excuses they could think of (It's too soon! they said. Humanity's not ready!).  For once though, I found Udina's eagerness for power helpful.  Together we talked the Council down and finally they initiated humanity (and me) into the Spectres' ranks.  Following protocol I spoke of what an honor it was to be the first Human Spectre, but then I pushed them to get down to business as soon as possible.  Finally a solid answer!  They agreed to strip Saren of all funds and resources and they are sending me after him.  I am to "use any means necessary" to procure him, and he can return a prisoner or in a body bag.  Now those are some orders I can get behind.

In a few minutes I need to meet up with Captain Anderson and Ambassador Udina in the Docking Bays.  I'm not entirely certain what they want, but I believe it has to do with providing my supplies for this mission.  Talk about a quick turn around time.  Maybe this Spectre deal isn't so bad after all.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Eight

Location: The Citadel Docking Bays; The Normandy
Active Companions: None

Well that I didn't expect.  I know that I needed a ship and crew for this mission, and I knew that those things did not simply lie around for the taking.  That said, when accepting Spectre status I did not expect them to force Captain Anderson to step down from the Normandy.  Do not get me wrong, the Normandy is a beautiful ship.  Not only is she fast but she is the most technologically advanced ship available.  She may just give me the advantage we need over Saren.  I feel less like I'm inheriting her, however, and more like I'm stealing her.  Will the Normandy's crew, a group so leery of my past, truly accept me as their new captain?  It appears that they have no choice.  Captain. Anderson claims that this works out perfectly since he is getting older and has been ready to step down for a while.  I do not believe his admission, but the gesture is nice nonetheless.  Udina, the political being that he is, told me to be careful what I do since he has to deal with the fall out.  "You make a mess and I get stuck cleaning it up," he claimed as he pleaded with me to see things his way. Thankfully my new status, and authorization of force by the Council, means that I need no longer answer to him.  Cleaning up my mess was his job, I responded (much to his dismay) before stepping onto my new ship.  I may feel bad for Anderson's forced retirement, but I in no way plan on walking on pins and needles just to please Udina.  I've been authorized to do a job and that job is what I will do.

Unfortunately, the Normandy's crew needed to be handled more carefully then the Ambassador.  Joker, bless his heart, assures me that the crew is behind me and realises that Anderson's removal was not my decision.  Loyalty can be a fickle friend though, and I knew that my first address to them was important.  In just a few words I needed to lay out the problems that lay before us without sending everyone into a panic. More importantly, I needed to show that they had my trust if I wanted to earn their trust in return.  In the end I believe that the address went over pretty well. 

"The mission will not be easy," I told them, "and Saren will know we are coming." That was good.  Where he goes in search of the Conduit we will follow to hunt him down.  We cannot fail at out mission, but I have faith that we can pull through.

I don't know how everyone received it, but Joker seemed rather pleased.  As I wrote before, he is far more astute than he lets on.  Therefore, I will take him at his word on this one.  Now I just have to prove that I mean the words I said.  I cannot let the crew down and I cannot let Anderson down. 

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