Saturday, May 21, 2011

ME1 - A Scientist Recovered

With the Normandy now under her command, Meriel and her companions go in search of the scientist Liara T'soni.  They hope that her research can shed more light on the current geth problem and help them better understand what Saren is after.

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

 Meriel's Journal, Entry Eleven

Location: Therum
Active Companions: Alenko/Garrus

It took a great deal of planet scanning, but we finally found Therum, and with it began our search for Dr.  T'soni.  According to the Normandy's navigation map Therum has a population of 34,000 individuals.  Considering that my team did not see a living soul outside of the geth (and I'm not really certain you can call sentient machines "living") I must assume that those 34,000 have either drastically decreased in number since the nav map was last updated or the settlers live in an entirely different area of the planet.  For this particular mission I chose Garrus and Alenko to accompany me.  Alenko had an attitude last time we spoke, but he proved himself a good fighter back on Eden Prime.  I'm hoping that including him in the action on Therum will break him out of the funk that he has been in.  If not I'll have to take some other kind of action.  I can't have team members just checking out.  As for Garrus, well let's just say that I'm rather fond of the Turian.  We share a similar mindset and he just has something about him that I really connect with.  I figured that our similarities in purpose would prove useful in the field and it seems i was right.  He was careful to stay in the background, I did after all tell him not to get in my way, but he more than held up his end of the fighting.

Utilizing the M35 Mako for most of our planetary transportation proved a wise idea since the geth were waiting for us in force.  While the Geth Colossus which later took us quite a while to defeat in person (it doesn't help that it temporarily put Alenko out of commission), the Mako's weaponry quickly and efficiently defeated a very similar Colossus within a fraction of the time.  It can be frustrating to guide that bulky vehicle down narrow paths when you are surrounded by lava, but I was not foolish enough to even suggest that we leave it behind.

Speaking of the geth, they appear to have set up quite an operation on Therum.  Well they did have quite an operation before we wiped part of them out   atleast.  From turrets and mechanical barriers to Rocket Troopers and Colossus' (Colossi?), the geth seemed both well organized and well armed.  Like I said we did manage to fight our way through them, but it wasn't without a great deal of effort on our part.

Thankfully, however, Therum's planetary surface was the hardest part.  Once we entered the ruins where Dr. T'soni was doing her research, the number of hostiles decreased significantly.  Either that, or they were simply easier to eliminate.  But then again, at that point the geth were the least of our worries.  After the ruins' technology bugged out on us, and we had to jump from a failed elevator to the floor of our choice, we found the good doctor.  Since nothing is ever simple, we found her suspended within some kind of ancient Prothean security device.  She'd mistakenly activated the device when trying to defend herself against some mercs (Saren's or Benezia's no doubt), and if my team wanted any kind of help from her at all it was up to me to deactivate the device.  The problem?  The console necessary for deactivation was inside the barrier with her.

We finally managed to get inside the barrier, thanks to the use of a conveniently placed mining laser, but before letting the doctor go free dissension of a sorts rose within the ranks.  Alenko seemed more than a little opposed to releasing her due to the fact that Dr. T'soni is Benezia's daughter.  The doctor claimed then, and maintains now, that she is in no way involved with her mother's plans.  Alenko, like myself, was and still is skeptical of the whole situation.  Children are by no means required to participate in their parents' activities, but that doesn't mean that they are necessarily in the clear simply because they profess innocence.  That said, I couldn't exactly let Alenko question me in the field.  We had come to these ruins in search of the doctor.  We all knew that her Prothean research may hold the key to taking down Saren, and everyone back on the ship was expecting us to return with her.  With everyone's confidence in my new position as their captain and as a Spectre currently tenuous at best, returning without the doctor would have done my reputation no favors.  If Alenko has a problem with my decisions from now on he can discuss it with me in private when the geth and Saren's mercs aren't breathing down our necks.

My word, of course, ruled the day and after some tinkering we were able to release the doctor from her confinement.  My mining laser trick had destabilized the ruins though, and the time left for us to escape the disintegrating structure was short.  If it weren't for some expert flying on Joker's part, and the efficiency of my team as we eliminated the mercs on our tail, we most certainly would not have made it off of Therum alive.  Next time I have a moment I will need to commend Joker on his timely save.  In the meantime, I have a debriefing to conduct.  After all that effort I certainly hope that the doctor has something useful she can share.

Meriel's Journal, Entry Twelve

Location: The Normandy - Communication Room
Active Companions: None

Dr. T'soni did not have anything useful to share.  Oh sure the research she discussed at the debriefing was certainly interesting, but it contained nothing of particular import to our current situation.  Part of me wants to be angry at the doctor, but it really isn't her fault.  According to what we not know, she has been studying the Protheans' disappearance for the past fifty years and any hard evidence or records have been few and far between.  Most of what she knows has been constructed from information that is not there, instead of the information that is.  All the same, that doens't mean that the whole situation is not disheartening.  I knew that there was a chance her research would not be able to help us, but with no assistance coming in from the Council I was hoping that T'soni would provide the advantage we needed over Saren.  She knew nothing of   the Reapers or the Conduit though, and seemed more fascinated with my Prothean beacon "experience" on Eden Prime then she was with the actual matter at hand.  That is to be expected I suppose, however, when you consider that scientific examination of Prothean ruins has been the focus of her life for this past half century.

When one considers the possible benefit of Dr. T'soni's other research to our mission, its contribution seems negligible in comparison to what we had hoped to discover.  In my books that means that this past mission was a waste of precious time, and I clearly stated as much to everyone at the debriefing.  If we waste our time on missions like this and Eden Prime, then we will likely waste any chance we had of gaining the advantage over Saren.  Somethings can't be helped though I suppose.    Dr. T'soni seemed like a viable lead until after the fact.  The question now is what on Earth we are supposed to do with her.  She seemed distressed as the fact that I considered her to be of little use, but at the time I still contemplated passing by the Citadel and dropping her off.  Garrus, however, seems to think that her expertise in biotics will be useful in combat.  I cannot argue with him there, but Alenko's concern for her motivations cannot be wholly dismissed.  Since I value Garrus' opinion I have decided to let her stay with us ... for now.  And if she is indeed working with her mother?  Well you know what they say about enemies.  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.  If the good doctor is other then what she claims to be, at least her activities will be happening right on the Normandy where I and the rest of my crew can keep an eye on her.

Oh, and it hardly bears mentioning, but I told Joker not to patch our mission log over to the Council.  The Council has all but washed their hands of the Saren matter, so I have washed my hands of them and refuse to give them anymore information then I personally deem necessary or important.  Nothing uncovered during this mission fits into either of those categories.

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