Monday, March 19, 2012

ME2 - Prisoner

Powerful and unpredictable.

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

Meriel's Personal Log, Entry Ten
Location: The Prison Ship - Purgatory

Most of the time is seems like I have Cerberus figured out.  Yet other times, like today, I can't help but wonder what exactly the Illusive Man is playing at.  On the surface, our recruitment mission to The Prison Ship - Purgatory made a great deal of sense.  In order to beat the Reapers and save humanity, we need cream of the crop.  Miranda was engineered to be the best at everything, Jacob is a stellar fighter in the peak of health,  Garrus is an exceptional marksman and has been down this road before, Zaeed has a history with the Blue Suns and his skill with a gun is practically unparalleled, and last of all Mordin is ex- special ops and a leading scientist in his field.  As such, when the warden of Purgatory called our next recruit "the meanest handful of violence and hate [he had] ever encountered," it did not come as much of a surprise.  Notoriously powerful and unfettered by social mores - this convict we sought, Jack, sounded much like I expected a new addition to Normandy's motley crew would.  After finally meeting Jack, however (who by the way is actually a woman and not a man) I began to wonder what game the Illusive Man was playing.  While she turned out to be everything I had expected from a skill standpoint, she also exhibited unusually powerful feelings against Cerberus ... something that we had not anticipated.  Everyone else I have recruited, since my revival, has been ambivalent about Cerberus at best. More on that in a moment.

It bears mentioning that this mission was an odd one from the start.  The way things have been going lately, I had honestly expected that my team would need to enter the prison ship guns blazing.  Instead, we were greeted by a set of guards, told to surrender our weapons due to protocol, and then allowed to keep our firearms after I adamantly refused.  Afterwards, Garrus, Zaeed and I were given a guided tour of Purgatory by Warden Kuril while he waited for the Illusive Man's wire transfer to clear.  All three of us were on edge the entire tour, expecting the warden to turn on us any minute.  Instead of exhibiting violent tendencies though, he calmly talked about the prison ship's purpose and answered questions we had about his job and the convicts under his care. 

On one hand it is sad that circumstance has forced us to default to skepticism.  On the other hand, it is a good thing we were on guard.  After being left to our own devices for a while, Kuril decided that I was worth more as a hostage than any amount of money Cerberus might pay for Jack's release. Garrus and I could not believe out ears.  Did he seriously expect me to give up that easily ... especially after the way my team had seen his guards treat and "interrogate" their charges?  In all honestly, it seems like he did.  The warden's first mistake was letting my team keep our weapons.  His second mistake was expecting me to simply give up and walk into a cell unaided.  There literally was no one around to physically incapacitate me or force compliance - just an order over the ship's intercom telling me to give up. Kuril was clearly delusional.  I say was, because he like most everyone else on Purgatory is now dead.  Some of their deaths were doled out by my team, the rest were Jack's handiwork.  What handiwork it was.

Having spent time in Dr. T'soni's company and faced down Asari Commandos, I would like to think myself quite familiar with powerful biotics.  That said, Jack exhibits a control over her biotic abilities that I have yet to see in my travels ... with few exceptions.  The Matriarch being one of those, of course.  I do not know if her powers are fuel by hatred, contempt, and excessive aggression, or if she is naturally that intense in battle.  It did take a moment though, for me to see her as a trapped individual fighting for freedom, instead of a tool that would further our cause.  If I was initially having issues seeing her humanity then one can only imagine the number of people who have not only objectified her, but tried to control her for their own means.  The Illusive Man, no doubt, falls into that last category.  Everyone is a tool, a means to an end, in his eyes.

Not only is Jack beyond powerful, but she is a force to be reckoned with. While aboard the prison ship, my team sought her out.  We fought our way through the stragglers who had somehow escaped her rage, and stumbled over the debris left in her wake.  Not even the obvious failing of Purgatory slowed this woman down.  She only stopped when the Normandy, emblazoned with Cerberus' logo, came into view.  Her hatred for Cerberus was such, that she almost elected to go down with the burning prison ship before she would let the organization touch her.  She did not respond to kindness, she did not respond to threats, she did not respond to reason.  I only managed to bring her aboard after promising to let Jack see all the files that Cerberus had on her.  I can understand hatred.  I can understand the desire to know what enemy  intelligence has collected on you.  I do not, however, understand Jack.  I'd be lying if I said her destructive potential did not give me pause.  I need to know that she is stable, and not a threat to my team.  The Illusive Man may wish to harness her powers for Cerberus' initiative against the Reapers, but how do you harness a hurricane or tsunami?  Miranda seems to think that one does so by issuing orders and offering ultimatums.  I am hoping to do it by gaining Jack's trust, and it all begins by showing her what Cerberus files say.

No comments:

Post a Comment