The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during December 2011. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
December 2011 – Week One
12/01/11 - C-Sec cracks down on illegal VIs
C-Sec launched a series of multi-ward raids today to crack down on VI programs that are illegally based on living individuals. The raids resulted in the arrests of nearly 200 small time fences, hackers, and black market merchants. Critics have accused C-Sec of caving into pressure from media companies and celebrities, and have complained that the efforts divert C-Sec resources from more important efforts against organized crime. However, a C-Sec spokesperson told reporters, “Breaking the law is breaking the law. These raids help to clean up the streets.”
12/02/11 - VIs based on wide range of individuals
Reports from C-Sec indicate that the illegal VIs confiscated in yesterday’s raids are based on a wide range of celebrities, politicians, and media figures. The most widely confiscated VIs are modeled on Mya, the asari pop singer, Ronbus Okel, the comedian, and Aish Ashland, the celebrity. Numerous VIs were also reported of turian General Partinax, Systems Alliance Prime Minister Shastri, and Emily Wong, a Citadel journalist. The biggest surprise, however, were reports of several hundred VIs that are based on Sohl’Atar nar Klemcheck, the so called “quarian Facinus.” According to one C-Sec source, “The Sohl’Atar VI is a popular commodity with separatist supporters, and with some counter-culture types in university neighborhoods. She’s become something of a hero to them. You can even find her on pins and t-shirts that are sold in certain stores.”
12/03/11 - Drell elected to Intai’sei Colonial Council
In a startling upset, drell businessman Korat Udorn has been elected to the Intai’sei Colonial Council. Udorn, believed to be the first non-human elected to office on Intai’sei, was certified as the winner of a five-way race in yesterday’s by-election in the Montana River Valley riding. Udorn fills the seat left open by the death of Councilor Angus McDowell, who had represented the riding’s 10,800 residents on the 15-member Colonial Council for the past eight years. Orphaned as a child and adopted by human parents, Udorn became a naturalized Alliance citizen in 2170. He ran for office as a member of the Social Democratic Party, and lives in Cairnhall with his wife and children, where he owns a starship dealership.
[via the Thoreau Republic]
December 2011 - Week Two
12/04/11 - Salarian photojournalist announces Earth project
Earth is often perceived negatively, due in part to reports of poverty, crime, and inadequate infrastructure. However, an effort to combat that perception is being launched by a surprising source: Klinga Sannoven, the salarian photojournalist. Sannoven plans to spend the next six months gathering photographs of Earth’s major cities and wildlife preserves. “I lived on Earth for three years as a Salarian News Agency photographer, and I loved it there” said Sannoven. “Much of what I hear being said about Earth couldn’t be any less true, and usually it’s individuals who have never been there who are saying it. My aim is to show them what it’s really like.”
12/05/11 - First non-human elected on Intai’sei talks to press
Councilor-Elect Korat Udorn sat down with the Thoreau Republic to talk about being the first non-human elected to office on Intai’sei. Udorn recalled watching his biological parents succumb to Kepral’s syndrome. “I was begging at the docks on Kahje when a human freighter captain and his wife found me and took me in. They were the first non-drell who showed me compassion.” Udorn learned the starship trade from his adoptive parents, but decided to settle on Intai’sei after marrying his wife Nikal, an artist. “She didn’t want to settle on a human colony, she’d heard all the horror stories. 13 years later… let’s just say the people here have given us so much. I’m just giving back what I can.”
[via the Thoreau Republic]
12/06/11 - Krogan wins biotic weightlifting competition
The first “final round” event was held at the Biotic Games today, with Jorgal Kalt winning the title of Shi’Tala in the biotic weightlifting competition. The outcome was a bitter disappointment for the Systems Alliance, which saw Alexa Glassley make it to the final round, only to narrowly lose the title to Kalt. Had she won, Glassley would have been the first human to pick up the title of Shi’Tala at any Biotic game. Kalt, meanwhile, proudly told reporters that his victory “is a victory for all krogan,” and said, “I hope my role in these games will help dispel negative stereotypes, especially in light of the recent conflict with Clan Torak.”
12/07/11 - Intai’sei Councilor-Elect lays out legislative agenda
Having made history as the first non-human elected to office on Intai’sei, Colonial Councilor-Elect Korat Udorn got down to business today. Appearing at a press conference with Council Speaker Peter Davitt, Udorn pledged his support to the Council’s Social Democrat majority. “As a resident of a rural riding spanning 30 million square kilometers, I know how important rural development is to our colony. As a businessman, I know that businesses have obligations to our community as well our bottom line. And as a father of four, I know that a quality education is something we can give every child. That’s why I’m proud to be a Social Democrat.” The press conference was briefly interrupted by a man shouting obscenities and slurs at Udorn; the man was quickly removed by police and cited for disorderly conduct. Udorn, meanwhile, is expected to take office next week.
[via the Thoreau Republic]
12/08/11 - Asari competitor wins multi-terrain competition
The Alliance fared poorly in the final round of the multi-terrain, biotic endurance competition. Dwight Franks managed to stay competitive through the swimming and running rounds, demonstrating an ability to maintain successive biotic lift fields while engaging in strenuous physical activities. The athlete fell considerably behind during the mountain climbing portion, however, and was quickly overtaken by asari, salarian, and turian competitors. Neleena T’Mesai went on to claim the title of Shi’Tala, the third such title she has claimed at three separate Biotic Games. Following the competition, T’Mesai complimented each of her competitors for their performance. “The humans managed a great effort, considering this is their first biotic games,” she said of the Alliance. “Perhaps they will do even better when they are more mature.”
12/09/11 - Alliance doctor reported missing
A doctor who worked with officials at the New Hope colony has been reported missing, today. Dr. Samir Sridar was with the Alliance Center for Disease Control team that studied the initial spread of the influenza outbreak there. Dr. Sridar returned to Arcturus Station recently, but has not reported to work in over a week. Friends and co-workers describe the doctor as on edge since his return, and are worried about his well-being. Authorities are requesting that anyone with knowledge of Dr. Sridar’s location contact the Alliance, or their nearest C Space law enforcement agency.
12/10/11 - Asari wins tal’nara competition
Leala Theynaya claimed the title of Shi’Tala in the tal’nara competition today, winning for the Asari Republics one of the eight different kinds of biotic martial arts practiced at the Biotic Games. Theynaya easily defeated competetors from the Systems Alliance, the Salarian Union, and the Turian Heirarchy. In a surprise twist, Petalaz, the elcor competitor, proved to be Theynaya’s toughest challenge. Petalaz went head to head with Theynaya for twenty-two rounds, before giving in to exhaustion. Theynaya seemed proud to claim the title, as this is the first time it has been awarded to her, despite her participation in four separate Biotic Games.
December 2011 – Week Three
12/11/11 - Doctor’s statements spark rumors
An extranet video posted by Dr. Samir Sridar has sparked rumors throughout the galaxy. In the video, Dr. Sridar claims that the deaths on New Hope were not caused by a mutated influenza virus, as is being publically reported. “The whole thing is a cover up,” Dr. Sridar said. “It wasn’t really a virus. It was something worse. Most of the officials claiming to be with Disease Control weren’t even doctors. They were Alliance Intelligence, or military. One was even a Spectre.” Dr. Sridar says he has evidence to back his claims, but the Alliance Center for Disease Control has called the allegations “preposterous,” and noted that it has posted much of the data from New Hope on the extranet, “for all to see.”
12/12/11 - Turian wins thelac competition
Partus Partel claimed the title of Shi’Tala in the thelac style biotic martial arts competition, winning a surprise upset over the asari in a sport they have traditionally dominated. The victory is yet another setback for the Systems Alliance, which saw a perceived strong competitor fall to defeat early in the completion. Instead, the Hierarchy athlete, a heavily decorated, former front line soldier, shot ahead in points early in the competition, and easily maintained his dominance over other competitors. Although many Systems Alliance observers have become disheartened at the Alliance’s poor showing, many are holding out hope for tomorrow’s tela’nal martial arts competition, as well as the upcoming biotic diving finals.
12/13/11 - Human wins tela’nal competition
Viktor Kohl narrowly won the tela’nal biotic martial arts competition, today, edging out asari competitor Renaya T’Malar in the final round. The victory is stunning, if only because few expected Kohl to make it to the final round, let alone that he would be capable of defeating T’Malar, a former asari commando. Kohl, the first human ever to win the title at the Biotic Games, has become an instant celebrity throughout the Alliance. “It’s an honor, but it’s also a little strange,” he said. “I’m not used to this much attention.” A celebration is being held for Kohl this evening, and he is expected to be honored at a ceremony at the human embassy on the Citadel during a stopover on his return trip to his home, on Eden Prime.
12/14/11 - Three killed in Intai’sei shooting
A gunman killed three people and wounded two at the Intai’sei Capitol during the historic swearing-in ceremony for Councilor Korat Udorn. Udorn and Councilor Tseng-Chen Kuo were wounded; both were struck in the chest and are in critical condition. Among the dead are two unidentified Intai’sei Colonial Police officers, and Udorn’s oldest daughter, 13-year old Arasi Udorn. Witnesses say that the gunman took the officers by surprise, shooting them at a distance with an unregistered M5 Phalanx pistol equipped with a laser sight. Arasi attacked the gunman and tried to wrestle the pistol away, but was shot in the head during the struggle and died at the scene. The gunman was then tackled by bystanders and taken into custody. ICP officials have not released his identity.
12/15/11 - Alliance doctor interviewed on Omega
GBC News reporter Carl Shipley has conducted an interview with Dr. Samir Sridar. In the interview, conducted at the Afterlife Nightclub, on Omega, a clearly intoxicated Sridar repeated his claims that the official New Hope story is a cover up. “They invented a story about an alien-influenza hybrid,” Sridar said. “In reality, someone was playing with nanotech. It was a nanotech virus, programmed to kill any human who didn’t meet certain genetic standards. And as bad as it is with humans, it’s 100% fatal to non-humans.” Dr. Sridar ended the interview by saying that he “had evidence to back his claims,” but that the OSD was stolen from him on Illium. “I barely got away with my life,” he added.
12/16/11 - Asari dominating Biotic Games
Despite the recent Alliance victory in the tela’nal competition, the Systems Alliance has generally been faring poorly at the Biotic Games, with the Asari Republics dominating the competitions. So far, 26 Shi’Tala titles have been claimed for the asari, compared to twelve for the turians, eight for the salarians, three for the Illuminated Primacy, two for the krogan, and one for the Systems Alliance. Competitors from no other delegation have walked away with a Shi’Tala title. A review of recent Biotic Games shows this to be a common trend. The asari last won a minority of Shi’Tala titles in 1286 CE, and have dominated most of the games since then.
12/17/11 - Conspiracy theorist has rocky past
Dr. Samir Sridar has once again dropped from public view, as investigations into his background have revealed a rocky past. Five years ago, the doctor was suffering major problems from alcohol and drug abuse that cost him his marriage, and nearly cost him his job. Friends and family report that he has been clean for the past few years, but that the incident at the New Hope colony took a toll on him. “You can’t trust what Samir says when he’s like this,” said Dr. Meghan Bryer. “He’s clearly drinking again, and he’s probably dusting, too. If you see him, could you tell him to come home? He needs help.”
December 2011 – Week Four
12/18/11 - Human wins biotic diving competition
Zhao Chi won the final round biotic diving competition, today, besting asari, salarian, and turian competitors and winning the second ever Shi’Tala title for the Systems Alliance. The athlete repeated past performances by once again amazing the audience, judges, and fellow participants with his grace and form. Following the competition, he merely told reporters, “I’m proud,” when asked for a response to his victory. It is expected that he will join Viktor Kohl for a celebration on the Citadel before he returns to his home in Hong Kong, on Earth.
12/19/11 - Athletes criticize Biotic Games tradition
Controversy has come to the Biotic Games, today. Despite basking in the afterglow of victories by Viktor Kohl and Zhao Chi, several human athletes staged a short protest, during which they presented a formal complaint against long standing Biotic Games tradition. The complaint, which has been co-signed by two turian athletes, as well as several salarians and the elcor athlete Petalaz, claims that holding the competition once a century unfairly benefits the asari, as their athletes are, for the most part, the only ones who have a chance to gain experience at multiple Biotic Games. The Biotic Games Commission has taken a neutral stance, and promised to “consider” the complaint. However, Shi’Tala holder Neleena T’Mesai was less diplomatic. “This is asari tradition. The others are only invited out of good faith,” a visibly angry T’Mesai told reporters. “If they have a problem, let them compete in the the humans’ so-called ‘Olympics.’ I understand they’ve added a few trifling biotic events.”
12/20/11 - Extranet site backs New Hope claims
A new extranet site has opened to back the claims of Dr. Samir Sridar. NewHopeTruth alleges that the New Hope colony was attacked by a nanotech virus, and implicates a wide range of individuals and organizations, including Prime Minister Amul Shastri, the Turian Hierarchy, the Vol Protectorate, and the Binary Helix Corporation. The site’s operator, a salarian who calls herself “Dalatrass X,” said, “Our goal is to reveal what the establishment doesn’t want you to know: That the entire galaxy is in danger from an engineered nanobot virus.” Several relatives of deceased New Hope colonists have criticized the site, and in a statement today, the Alliance Center for Disease Control said, “NewHopeTruth is spreading irresponsible lies based on hatred and paranoia. They should be ashamed.”
12/21/11 - Intai’sei shooter has Terra Firma connections
As the victims of the tragic shooting at the Intai’sei Capitol are laid to rest, a grim picture of their killer emerges. Intai’sei Colonial Police have identified him as 29-year old Darren Painter of Thoreau Mesa. Painter previously worked for 18 months as an aide to former Councilor T.J. Burch, a member of the Terra Firma party who retired last year. Council Records show that Burch’s office fired Painter in early 2184, citing “erratic and abusive behavior,” including threatening a columnist for the Thoreau Republic who had written a column critical of Burch. It is believed that Painter kept his Council ID, which he used to enter the Capitol on the morning of the shooting. Painter had been unemployed since his firing, but he continued to support Terra Firma, and was active on pro-Terra Firma extranet news sites and chat boards, as well as sites linked to anti-alien hate groups. Painter was also identified as the man who disrupted a press conference by Councilor-elect Korat Udorn, wounded in the shooting.
[via the Thoreau Republic]
12/22/11 - Human athlete under suspicion
Tragedy today at the Biotic Games, where human athlete Viktor Kohl collapsed at the narala martial arts competition and was rushed to a local hospital. Little information is available, but leaked reports indicate that the situation may prove to be a diplomatic setback for the Systems Alliance: hospital officials allege that Minagen X3, a powerful but dangerous drug that boosts biotic abilities, has been found in Kohl’s system. The Alliance has yet to issue an official statement on the situation. Meanwhile, Renaya T’Malar, who Kohl defeated for the title of Shi’Tala in the tela’nal biotic martial arts competition, is said to be considering a challenge to the outcome.
12/23/11 - Satire earns diplomats’ ire
A new HV series is in the news for ruffling feathers on the Citadel. The Negotiator is a half hour comedy that follows a turian staffer for the Citadel Council. During the course of the show, the main character must constantly deal with the inflated egos, poor judgment, and bizarre vices of the officials around him. The show’s creators claim that the characters are not based on any real life figures, but several high ranking diplomats are complaining to the press. “They based a character on me, but they made him angry and obnoxious,” said an official with the volus embassy. “It’s bad enough that the other races are treated so favorably by the Council. Now I must deal with personal slander.”
12/24/11 - Viktor Kohl stripped of Biotic Games title
Following the results of an intense medical exam, the Biotic Games Commission has voted to strip Viktor Kohl of his Shi’Tala title, and award it to asari competitor Renaya T’Malar. Kohl is said to be awake and nearly recovered after being hospitalized recently. Doctors have confirmed that his condition was caused by a Minagen X3 overdose, and say tests indicate he was likely doping during the competition where he claimed the Shi’Tala title. Other athletes, including most of the Alliance team, have reacted in disgust, though Kohl has vowed to fight the ruling. “I do not use drugs,” he told reporters who called his hospital room. “I have never used drugs. I won fair and square. I deserve my title.” The Games will now increase drug screening for athletes from every delegation, and at least one athlete, Jorgal Kalt, has warned against race based backlash. “Most of the humans have competed fairly,” he said. “I know what it’s like to be hated for what I am. I do not wish to see that sort of thing here.”
December 2011 – Week Five
12/25/11 - Pope urges galactic unity in Christmas homily
Speaking at the traditional “Midnight Mass” at the Vatican, Pope Leo XIV called upon humans and aliens alike to set aside past disputes and unify for the sake of peace. Referring to the traditional story of the birth of Jesus, who Christians revere as a divine prophet, the Pope said, “The shepherds in the fields on that lonely winter’s night heard the angel’s exhortation to ‘be not afraid…’ Let us, then, follow these shepherds, fearing neither past nor future, as we joyously greet our Savior, Jesus, the sign of God’s assured victory over evil.” In an astonishing move, the Pope was joined at the Mass by Athanasius VIII, the leader of the Orthodox Church. The two churches split in 1054 CE over doctrinal disputes; some analysts speculate that the Orthodox presence at the ceremony signals a new push towards reunification.
[via BBC Galactic Service]
12/26/11 - Winning skyball team includes humans
The Shi’Tala skyball team at the Biotic Games includes three humans, Jennifer Parks of Mindoir, Edha Mehra of Earth, and Allison Spector of Luna, who managed to make their way onto a final round “unity team.” The general consensus seems to be that the humans cemented their place as fierce skyball competitors during the final match, which went into six bonus rounds. “We couldn’t have done it without them,” said Furgal Unnus, a salarian who was also on the Shi’Tala team. “They played a vital role, and really helped bring things together.”
12/27/11 - Gun battle reported on Elysium
A pitched gun battle took place today in the downtown section of Fields, one of Elysium’s largest settlements. Witnesses report that a local businessman named Howard Purvel and his four bodyguards engaged a heavily armed salarian outside Purvel’s home. Purvel’s bodyguards were killed, and he attempted to flee into a crowded, open air market. The salarian killed Purvel with a sniper rifle shot from across the plaza as the businessman tried to enter an air cab. The local police are searching for the salarian, who vanished during the chaos that followed the shooting.
12/28/11 - Elysium battle renews Spectre controversy
The Citadel Council confirmed today that a Spectre was behind yesterday’s shooting in an Elysium market. According to Council representatives, an operative moved to eliminate Howard Purvel after determining that he had connections to several Terminus Systems crime cartels and illegal arms smugglers. The resulting public gun battle has renewed criticism of the Spectres, with the Alliance Civil Liberties Coalition calling it “another example of the Spectres’ flagrant disregard for public safety and due process,” and renewing their call for the Citadel Council to release records on all Spectre activities within Alliance space. The Spectre defended his actions in an anonymous statement, saying, “It was a good, clean kill. No civilians were hurt, and, while I can’t discuss the details, a major security threat was eliminated.”
12/29/11 - Biotic Games close
The closing ceremonies for the Biotic Games were held today on Tiala, with the closing Unity Parade led by the Shi’Tala title holders. Although the games were marred by controversy, the closing parade had a joyous atmosphere, dampened only by a protest staged by athlete Viktor Kohl. Kohl continues to maintain his innocence in a Minigen X3 doping scandal, attributing his hospitalization to a “heart condition,” and alleging that the Biotic Games Commission “stripped me of my title to punish humanity for protesting Biotic Games tradition.” Most athletes ignored the statement, but Petalaz, the elcor athlete, said to reporters, “Sarcastically: Perhaps Kohl should meet with Samir Sridar. He obviously has been stripped of his title by the same conspiracy that built the so called nano plague.”
12/30/11 - Salarians consider political restructuring
Dalatrasses within the Salarian Union are meeting today to discuss eliminating several of the Union’s colonization clusters, or “marches.” The marches being discussed are among the smallest and least economically viable in the Union, and have run into fiscal problems that have required no fewer than four bailout packages over the past decade. Under the proposal, the marches would be eliminated, and their systems folded into other, larger marches. The idea is politically controversial, however, in part due to the question of what to do with several Dalatrasses who would lose significant power under the plan, as well as due to long standing salarian family loyalties and alliances within each region. A Union representative stated her hope that today’s conference will allow common ground to be found.
12/31/11 - Celebration planned for Citadel
Eyes across the galaxy are on the Citadel, as the public anxiously waits to see if this year’s ceremony to celebrate the human New Year tops last year’s celebration. Organizers reportedly plan a repeat of last year’s display of biotics, but also plan to combine the display with a star studded musical event involving well known performers from across the galaxy. The festivities will be jointly hosted by Anne Sheridon and asari pop singer Mya, both of whom will also be performing. The presence of the singers has only stoked interest in the event, as the icy relationship between the two has been well known since Sheridon emerged out of nowhere and knocked Mya off the top of the charts. The performers claim to have moved away from their rivalry months ago, and Mya recently told reporters that she is looking forward to the event. “I don’t normally celebrate the ‘human’ New Year,” she said. “But Anne is a wonderful singer, and this is a fantastic chance to work with her.”