The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during April 2011. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
April 2011 – Week One
04/01/11 - CPTC investigates Zakera Ward advertisement
The Citadel Public Trade Commission has announced that 437 stores, restaurants, and other vendors in Zakera Ward are currently under investigation for false advertising. “Each of these business is claiming to be a human celebrity’s ‘favorite store on the Citadel,’” says CPTC official Riena L’Sonden. The commission believes that this endorsement was made sometime last year for an as-of-yet undetermined shop, and was quietly duplicated by nearby competitors. “These advertisements have been rapidly increasing in frequency over the past months,” added L’Sonden. “They are contributing to customer confusion.” When asked about the issue, Shin Akiba resident Chloe Jenkins said, “I don’t get it. How can one person have so many ‘favorite stores?’ It sounds like a scam to me.”
04/02/11 - Hanar colonists turn blue
A shuttle crash on Ineth has resulted in a unique situation for a number of hanar colonists; turning their normally violet skin blue!
A freight shuttle carrying 32 tonnes of Miprocom-427, an aquatic fertiliser produced on the Ineth, crashed into the ocean planet two weeks ago after a mechanical failure in one of its primary thrusters during take-off. The majority of the Miprocom spillage was cleared up by emergency teams but some did leak into the local ecosystem. The effects of large-scale Miprocom pollution were unknown at the time, but now an obvious side effect has come to light.
One of the victims, colony doctor Ochai, said of his new coloration, “This one is quite happy being blue. It has given it a new outlook on life. Although some hanar affected by Miprocom poisoning are upset by the change to their skin-tone, the effects are not permanent and will dissipate in time.”
04/03/11 - Illium Board discusses amendments to indentured servant laws
Controversy has flared once again on the asari-aligned free port Illium, following a proposal from the influential Hanadri Consortium to amend the world’s divisive “indentured servitude” regulations, which Citadel sapient rights groups liken to slavery. The proposal, allegedly intended to streamline the recruitment and allocation of skilled indentured workers, includes a number of changes to the process by which an individual may be registered as an indentured servant under Illium law; groups including the Citadel Anti-Slavery League, and Illium’s own Tyeri finance bloc, have protested that the new laws would allow sapients to be enslaved against their will in unregulated space, and then processed as lawful indentured servants on Illium in exchange for additional processing fees which amount to bribes. Illium’s Board of Governors has issued no statement on the proposal itself, but has addressed the controversy with a statement that the Board, in concert with the planet’s general legislature, will consider any proposals put to it with due consideration to individual rights, and Illium’s reputation as a free and legitimate trading port. Hanadri stock rose an adjusted 3% on the NAE, but a simultaneous 4% rise across the Tyeri bloc indicates mixed feelings among locals.
04/04/11 - Turian colony prepares for incoming hurricane
The capital of the turian colony of Eltayen in the Pikk system is battening down for an approaching hurricane tonight, following a software failure of the colony’s weather control grid. The grid, a standard system using microburst mass fields coordinated by sophisticated VI modelling to defuse severe weather conditions in their formative stages, raised the alarm four local days ago, when self-diagnostic routines identified air pressure variations outside modelled parameters. Following the findings of a technical survey team, the Eltayen government took the decision to enact a controlled temporary shut-down of the system until its predictive models could be brought back into alignment with observed meteorological data. Unfortunately, the eighteen hour shut-down process was too late to prevent the formation of a hurricane cell from the grid’s earlier erroneous adjustments. Contingency plans laid down prior to the grid’s installation have been activated, and at present the emergency is not expected to be life-threatening, however a substantial toll in property damage and loss of food crops seems likely.
04/05/11 - Citadel to host human history film festival
Hollis Westin, a Presidium businessman, has organized a “Classic Human Films Festival” for the Citadel. The Festival will take place over the next three weeks, and will feature a rotating series of human films from Earth’s 20th and 21st centuries, including Dial M for Murder and Casablanca. All will be shown using the classic projector and screen method.
Westin grew up in Los Angeles, California, on Earth, and has ancestors who worked in the film industry. “Movies can tell you a lot about humanity,” Westin said. “We plan to provide information packets to help explain the context and settings to those who are unfamiliar with Earth history, but many of these movies deal with concepts and themes that are understandable for any culture.” The festival will charge five credits per ticket, and will be held at the Auxua School of the Arts, in Tayseri Ward.
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/06/11 - Survey crew discovers sleeper ship
Survey crews from the Yarnell-Wycliff Independent Mining Corporation recently discovered the Stardust, an XL-82 class sleeper ship that was declared lost in 2072. The XL-82 class of ships were produced in the 2070s, for a series of unity exploration efforts involving the United States, European, Indian, and Chinese space agencies. They were designed for “long range” exploration and science missions to the outer fringes of Sol.
The Yarnell-Wycliff crew discovered the Stardust while running surveys in Sol’s asteroid belt. Upon boarding, they discovered that all systems had failed over a century ago, and that the crew had died while in cryogenic freeze. Investigation is ongoing, but preliminary results seem to indicate that the systems failure may have originated from a hull breach that occurred at some point during the ship’s journey.
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/07/11 - Wine gains ground in Salarian Union
In a surprising trend, exports of wine are gaining major ground within the Salarian Union. The Alliance Business Report notes that salarians have taken to the human drink because of its similarity to “coort,’ a traditional drink for many salarian holidays and ceremonies, including the ritual meal held immediately following mating practices. Salarian consumers reportedly prefer wine over coort because it lacks coort’s extremely bitter aftertaste, and sales of wine skyrocketed last year after it was endorsed as a substitute by several salarian religious leaders.
Vineyards within the Alliance are reportedly enjoying record profits, and many have made plans to expand their operations. However, they may eventually have competition within the Salarian Union, as several salarian businessmen and corporations are exploring the possibility of opening their own wine vineyards on Mannovai and Rannadril.
[via Alliance Beacon]
April 2011 – Week Three
04/10/11 - Manswell Expedition colonist missing on Citadel
Startling news from the Citadel today, as C-Sec has confirmed that Jerome Hennison, one of the Manswell Expedition colonists recently discovered in the Alpha Centauri System, has gone missing. According to statements from other Manswell colonists, the 26 year old [physical age] Hennison was part of the group that opted not to stay with the colony. He showed extreme impatience with the acclimation process, however, and struck off on his own as soon as he could.
C-Sec stated that Hennison has been living in Tayseri Ward, doing odd jobs to make money. Several neighbors and friends became concerned after they failed to hear from him for two days, a situation they describe as unusual for the extremely outgoing individual. C-Sec is asking any Citadel residents with information on Hennison’s whereabouts to come forward.
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/11/11 - Systems Alliance introduces restrictions on private militias
The rising influence of Terra Firma, Cerberus, and other politically motivated groups has made private militias a matter of concern for the Alliance, culminating in a standoff earlier this year between militia and local law enforcement over a murder trial involving a turian. Today the Systems Alliance Parliament implemented severe restrictions on the ability of unsanctioned citizens militia groups to operate in Alliance space.
Protests by various militia groups have already started, with the Galactic Weapons Alliance (GWA) leading the charge. They claim that the new legislation infringes on rights guaranteed to the colonists in the Alliance Charter, and that restricting their ability to organize effectively puts them at risk to pirates and worse. A spokesperson for MP Larry Hawthorne, who spearheaded the bill, says that the law does not prevent the colonists from organizing for the purposes of defense, it only requires that such groups to “obtain approval to operate” by the Alliance.
04/12/11 - Search continues for Manswell Colonist
C-Sec continued to search today for Jerome Hennison, the missing Manswell Expedition colonist. C-Sec officers searched Mr. Hennison’s Tayseri apartment, and canvassed the section of Tayseri Ward that he was last seen in. However, they turned up no evidence regarding his disappearance, and no leads on his whereabouts.
C-Sec Detective Gary Vitali, who is leading the search, told reporters today that Mr. Hennison’s photograph is being distributed to Tayseri residents, and that it will be posted on extranet sites that are highly frequented by Citadel residents. “We have no reason to believe that Mr. Hennison left the station,” Vitali said. “We are, however, concerned about his well being. Mr. Hennison is still new to this century. Even on the Citadel, there are many ways to get into trouble when you don’t know what’s going on.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/13/11 - Fornax plans Special Forces edition
Fornax announced yesterday that they plan to release a “Women of the Special Forces” edition next month. Although Fornax has released issues with military themes in the past, this issue will be different in that all of the models will be women who actually served in special forces or elite units. The lineup reportedly includes several asari commandos, as well as a number of ex-N7 operatives with the Alliance marines and some veterans of the turian Elite Forces squad.
Fornax’s marketing division has reported high levels of interest in this special edition, following a preview that was released onto the extranet last evening. In the preview, an N7 and an asari commando posed together, each holding a high powered rifle and wearing strategically placed pieces of armor. Participants in the shoot have given varying reasons for taking part, with Emily Morrison, a former N7 who served in the Battle for Eden Prime, saying that, “For me, it’s about showing the galaxy that tough can also be sexy.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/14/11 - Manswell Colonist search moves to Zakera Ward
Sources within Citadel Security report that new evidence has caused C-Sec to focus their search for Jerome Hennison on Zakera Ward. Zakera residents report seeing C-Sec officers canvassing shopping and warehouse districts, and reports indicate that C-Sec detective Gary Vitali, who is leading the search, has been seen talking to warehouse district workers.
Neither C-Sec nor Detective Vitali would issue an official statement on whether or not any new leads have been obtained. Detective Vitali, however, repeated C-Sec’s request that anyone with information on Mr. Hennison’s whereabouts come forward. “In a case like this, time can mean everything,” Vitali said. “If you have any information, if you even think you have any information, please come forward. It’s better for us to have it now than when it’s too late.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/15/11 - Mass Defect tops box office sales this week
The weekend’s box office is in, and audiences paid to be outraged. The records were led by Mass Defect, a documentary by controversial turian filmmaker Aureus Talarin about the dangers of element zero mining. Despite massive counter-advertising by the eezo-mining industry, the film grossed a not inconsiderable 2.6 billion credits. United Congress of Industrial Miners spokesperson Nareesha Rajput called the film “a breakthrough in public awareness for workers’ rights.”
That’s not to say that there was no lighter fare to be found. Recipe for Love, a romantic comedy featuring a human and turian who start out operating a restaurant together and end up developing a relation over the course of the vid, came in second with a respectable 1.88 billion credits. Action vid Nos Astra, featuring corporate espionage and numerous explosions in the titular city, followed it closely with 1.74 billion credits, while Taze Patterson 2: Electric Boogaloo, an attempt to play up on the B-sim reputation of its prequel, failed epically with a mere 297 million credits. According to Sharpstickintheeye.com, it “shot straight past ‘so bad it’s good’ and landed deep in the realm of ‘so bad it’s horrible.’”
04/16/11 - Aspire Unlimited launches skin-dye products for humans
Aspire Unlimited Ltd., a small Citadel-based cosmetics research and distributor, announced their new line of skin-dying and exfoliating products for human consumers today. “We have provided exotic beautifying agents for fellow asari and the occasional curious turian for centuries,” quoted an Aspire representative at their promotional media launch within the Flux. “We feel that it only makes sense to broaden our message about the importance of outer beauty to others–especially to the ‘others’ that could use it the most.” Via the simple use of ointments and washes, a “wide catalog” of skin tones can be achieved that naturally wear off in a day leaving the skin firm and rejuvenated. “I think it’ll be super interesting to try something new,” stated 21-year old Amanda Ganadan excitedly at the event. “I mean, at least it smells good. And it’s not like it’ll kill me to be purple for a day, or anything. Plus I’d look just like Unara T’Zeli!” Colors available at the launch of Aspire’s new line include Indignant Indigo, Busy Byzantium, Very Violet, Fanny Fandango, Mangy Magenta, and Purple.
[via Citadel News]
April 2011 – Week Four
04/17/11 - Manswell Colonist rescued in warehouse raid
Jerome Hennison has been recovered alive in the Citadel’s Zakera Ward. Citadel Security reports that their investigation into his disappearance led them to conduct a raid on a Zakera warehouse that was being used as a base of operations in a sapient smuggling and slaver operation. A C-Sec SWAT team infiltrated the warehouse at 1 AM [Citadel Standard time]. Witnesses report that they heard gunfire in the warehouse, then watched as C-Sec operatives led a string of individuals out of the building. One of them appears to have been Hennison.
Little information has been released on the group that was detaining Hennison. However, one C-Sec operative who went in with the SWAT team agreed to anonymously talk to an Alliance Beacon reporter. “It didn’t seem like he was being treated like a normal slave,” the operative said. “They had him tied up and plugged into medical units. It looked more like they wanted to run medical tests on him rather than sell him.”
===04/18/11 - Communications outage delays Thessian legislation
A freak technical glitch caused a significant disruption to the government of the asari homeworld of Thessia today, when communications channels reserved for legislative debate in five cities were blacked out for three standard hours. The asari system of government, in which all citizens are equally entitled to directly debate and determine legislative matters, relies on a massive bandwidth communications network of electronic discussion areas, regulated by impartial VIs. The temporary failure of the Kendra Ocean sub-net, representing 13% of the planetary population, has seen all debates active at the time called into question, and numerous decisions delayed pending new discussion. The fault — which affected only the legislative network, leaving emergency and civilian channels open — was traced to a misaligned interociter, which caused a cascade redirection fault in the network’s addressing matrix. Although there is no evidence of sabotage or deliberate damage, investigating authorities have refused to rule out any theories at this stage.
04/20/11 - Citadel Council involved in Hennison Case
Reports from sources that work with the Citadel Council indicate that the Council has become involved with the case of Jerome Hennison. Hennison was seen reporting to a closed meeting with the Council earlier today, along with C-Sec Detective Gary Vitali. Reports indicate that Mira D’Rana, the asari Spectre, also attended the meeting.
This news follows reports from Zakera Ward that the sealed off warehouse where Hennison was rescued has seen a lot of activity. Several members of what appeared to be a science team entered the building late yesterday. They were reportedly followed by Detective Vitali, C-Sec Captain Armando-Owen Bailey, and Spectre D’Rana. Mr. Hennison himself has not been available for comment, and C-Sec reports that he is currently in protective custody.
04/21/11 - Controversy erupts around documentary “Mass Defect”
While the film Mass Defect, by well-known and controversial director Aureus Talarin, always had its fair share of criticism, recently released analysis of the film from an infamous extranet forum suggests that the film vastly exaggerated the poor conditions of element zero miners. Several posters checked the positions of stars from the vid’s various shooting locations, and found that most of the mining outposts shown — purported to be within Citadel space and operated by major energy companies — were in fact located in the Terminus Systems. Despite follow-ups by several mainstream media outlets confirming the board’s findings, Talarin maintains that the film is completely accurate in its depiction of the mining industry. Moviegoers were less convinced however, as box office sales tapered off rapidly and aggregate reviews dropped by 18%.
04/22/11 - Alliance scientist criticized for speech
Dr. Matthew Brooks, a noted Alliance scientist and expert on artificial intelligence, is under criticism for a speech he gave at today’s University of Armstrong commencement ceremony. Speaking to the graduating class of 2186, Dr. Brooks praised the quarians for creating the geth and Cerberus for their experiments with biotics. He continued by saying that, “The real mistake is backing away from important research when a few things go wrong. All sentient beings stand at a point where it is possible for us to become gods. We should embrace that destiny, not run from it.”
Dr. Brooks went on to advocate eliminating restrictions on research into artificial intelligence and genetic engineering. Reaction among graduating students was overwhelmingly negative, with some leaving the ceremony before Dr. Brooks finished speaking. Nyala Thysis, who graduated with a master’s degree in mass effect field physics, said, “It is a pity that Dr. Brooks is incapable of learning from the mistakes of the past.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/23/11 - Coordinated assault destroys mercenary facility
Anonymous sources within the Systems Alliance and the Salarian Union have confirmed that Alliance special forces and the Salarian STG recently conducted a joint raid on a mercenary base on Sharjila, in the Macedon System. The raid, which was reported by several extranet blogs last week, reportedly destroyed a group of independent mercenaries who had been operating in Macedon and nearby systems.
The full extent of the mercenary group’s operations is not yet known, but it was previously thought that they had focused primarily on small scale raids and piracy. No sources in either the Systems Alliance or the Salarian Union would discuss why the mercenaries warranted a joint assault by special forces, with one salarian stating simply that, “It was necessary to maintain galactic security.” Sources likewise refused to comment on reports that a Spectre helped to coordinate the joint assault.
[via Alliance Beacon]
April 2011 – Week Five
04/24/11 - Terra Firma MP admits to affair with asari
Matthew Auberger, a Terra Firma MP in the Systems Alliance Parliament, admitted to a three year affair with an asari today. In a public statement, with his wife by his side, Auberger broke down in tears and admitted that he had “made mistakes” and that he had been “unfaithful, to my wife, my children, and my constituents.” He then asked that he be forgiven, and “allowed to continue working for the interests of humanity.”
Auberger, who represents Bekenstein, gained attention when he organized protests against Parliament member Jeffords Pallone when he married an asari earlier this year. Those protests ultimately led to Pallone’s resignation from the Foreign Affairs Committee. The asari with whom Auberger had an affair has not been named, and Terra Firma’s leadership in Parliament is reportedly holding discussions on how to deal with this new development.
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/25/11 - Sources say Sharjila mercs had missing colonist tie
Sources within C-Sec have indicated that the mercenaries who were recently destroyed in the Macedon System may have had ties to the group of slavers that held Jerome Hennison in Zakera Ward. “I was looking at information on the destroyed merc group,” said one C-Sec officer. “Each of the slavers that we apprehended in the warehouse had the merc group’s tattoo. It looks like they were the same organization.”
Neither C-Sec nor the Citadel Council would comment on this new revelation. Sources within the Systems Alliance, the Salarian Union, and the Citadel Council also continued to refuse comment on whether a Spectre coordinated the joint assault in the Macedon System, with one Alliance representative stating that, “Further information on the Macedon raid is not open to the public.”
04/26/11 - Aspire recalls cosmetic skin-coloring agents for humans
Aspire Unlimited Ltd., have announced a massive recall for their most recent line of temporary skin rejuvenating and color-changing agents for humans. Accumulated reports have highlighted the apparent lack of any “temporary” aspects of the company’s product and the noxious smell that results from modifying melanin’s optical chemistry. The company has released a statement today urging consumers to wait until further research is performed—and to buy their Aspire Unlimited-brand Nose Plugs.
“Humans are so oily, we may have overcompensated [our product] to address that,” a researcher who asked to remain anonymous admitted. “But the effect is not permanent. I calculate that with the lowest concentrations applied, any added color should dissipate within a number of years — which isn’t very long at all.” Aspire Unlimited’s stocks have continued to increase throughout the ordeal despite the recall and rampant protests by human consumers. “I’ll never try anything new again,” exclaimed a purple protester. “I smell like Dock 4 on Omega and everyone thinks I look like Unara T’Zeli if she’d got hit by a hovercraft and grew eyebrows! I wish I was dead!”
[via Citadel News]
04/27/11 - Documentary examines early FTL flight concepts
Director Norm Stawowski’s multipart documentary, Chasing Wild Geese, begins it’s examination of pre-mass effect ideas of space flight amongst different species. Each week, a new species’ flight to the stars will be presented with clips from fictional works and culminating in the discovery of their first relay. The first two episodes will be released back to back, featuring the turians and hanar.
In honor of these pioneers, there will be special viewings of the turian drama Raptor 10 and an asari interpretation of Enkindled Dreams. Also of note, the Turian Hierarchy has recently declassified and released several pre-relay attempts at FTL flight and communication for inclusion in this series.
04/28/11 - Study suggests loss of bio-diversity on Trident
A study conducted by Dr. Rala, a marine biologist with the University of Serrice, indicates a startling loss of bio-diversity on Trident, a primarily aquatic and human dominated world in the Terminus Systems. Trident is mineral rich, and home to operations that mine uranium, iridium, and dust form element zero. The study indicates steep declines over the past decade in aquatic plant and animal life, especially in areas that are home to major industrial operations. The losses are especially notable in the biologically diverse Poseidon Trench, which is home to numerous element zero mines: At least five unique species there have gone extinct in recent years, while an endangered squid has begun showing signs of weak biotic abilities. Dr. Rala told reporters today, “This one hopes that its study raises awareness of the dangers to Trident’s eco-system.” The Trident government, meanwhile, has promised to appoint a commission to investigate the matter.
[via Alliance Beacon]
04/29/11 - Top drell security agent missing on Citadel
31-year old Manaan Sricos, a drell bodyguard for a high-ranking hanar diplomat, is missing. Sricos, a 15-year veteran of the Hanar Illuminated Primacy’s diplomatic security service, was assigned to the personal protective detail of Henalshiir, First Counselor and Charge d’Affairs of the hanar embassy. Sricos was last seen leaving Henalshiir’s residence on the Presidium around [0100 hours Citadel Time] two nights ago, and was reported missing after failing to report for his scheduled shift at the embassy yesterday morning. C-Sec’s diplomatic liaison unit found no sign of Sricos at his apartment in upper Kithoi ward, and they are reviewing security camera footage and public transport records for leads. Sricos is 1.9 meters tall, well-built, with red/brown facial markings and a tattoo of the drell god Amonkira on his upper left shoulder. He was last seen wearing a dark blue suit, and carrying a Devlon Stinger pistol. C-Sec asks anyone with information on Sricos’ whereabouts to contact the Missing Persons Section immediately.
04/30/11 - Alliance MP Matthew Auberger’s staff resigns
The Terra Firma Party’s leadership in Parliament is reportedly still trying to decide how to react in the wake of news that one of their members, Bekenstein MP Matthew Auberger, had a three year affair with an asari. Although no decision has been made, one Terra Firma MP, who wished to keep his name off the record, stated that “the emerging consensus seems to be that Auberger should no longer be affiliated with the party. He has simply lost his legitimacy in our eyes.”
While the party leadership decides how to act, much of Auberger’s staff has taken action on their own: two thirds of his staff members, including his Chief of Staff and his Legislative Director, have quit their positions. Said Ella Ibrahim, a former Staff Assistant at the MP’s office: “Auberger betrayed us. He betrayed his party. He betrayed humanity. My conscience can no longer allow me to work for him.”
[via Alliance Beacon]