For canon information, see the Mass Effect Wiki page for Cerberus Daily News. This page is for CDN members' non-canon additions.
The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during December 2012. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
December 2012 – Week Two
12/02/12 – Silence from Solregit
Hierarchy officials are expressing concern over continued silence from the turian colony of Solregit. This small colony at the edge of turian space is known to most of the Hierarchy for two things: a substantial agricultural yield and ongoing struggles with local separatist elements. With the devastation on Palaven and the larger colony worlds, production of dextro-based food has become more important than ever; yet attempts to contact Solregit via QEC have to date gone unanswered.
Some analysts theorize that Primarch Antarres may have borrowed a page from the uncompromising separatist mindset and followed the example of Macedyn, choosing the willful destruction of the planet and its people over Reaper domination. Others, however, point out Solregit’s separatist doctrine.
“[Solregit separatists] believe the planet itself is sacred,” explains Hierarchy sociologist Hvion Svalbeid. “They would prefer their own deaths to its destruction.”
Hierarchy officials have denied rumors of a colonial overthrow and subsequent declaration of independence in the wake of the Reaper War. With no word from Solregit, however, the Hierarchy may only speculate on its former colony’s fate.
12/03/12 - Mannok-Vahk Tournament reopens
Cross posted from Tuchanka Times
The annual Bitter Seas Mannok-Vahk Fishing Tournament has begun this week, with an especially extravagant opening ceremony to celebrate the survival of the competition, the curing of the genophage and the success of the krogan following the Reaper War.
As well as the traditional opening feast, consisting of dozens of courses of local seafood as well as other local delicacies, spectators were treated to an impressive pyrotechnic display, several traditional krogan wrestling matches and a number of other entertainments.
Many locals were both surprised and pleased to see a large number of non-krogan who had travelled to Tuchanka to either take part in the tournament or simply spectate.
Held on the Bitter Seas Archipelago, the Mannok-Vahk Tournament has occurred annually, un-interrupted by war, inclement weather or natural disaster for nearly 400 years. The only disruption to this schedule occurred last year with the Reaper invasion of Tuchanka and many krogan were pleased to see the return of the popular competition.
"A lot has happened in the last year," Said Khel Torgan, a regular entrant of the competition. "The war; the genophage being cured; a lot of new nations emerging. We krogan are making our return to glory; if that isn't worth celebrating, I don't know what is.”
Even the fishing tournament hasn't escaped the many changes affecting the krogan; non-krogan were allowed to participate for the first time in 2186 and this year two such individuals, batarian fisher Kiral Nab'Okor and human master angler Tomi Oshiro, have already impressed locals by managing to progress to the third round by landing a number of extremely large -and extremely ferocious- fish.
Oshiro, who took part in the competition in 2186, this year managed to land a 326-pound mace ray despite the fish attacking and partially sinking his skiff. “The krogan have been very welcoming so far.” Oshiro told us, “Last year I think they saw us as a novelty, this year however... I think they’re starting to see us as proper competition.”
The tournament is expected to continue for several weeks.
By Ilon Jal, Nasurn Weekly
Alomn, Nasurn – The Aegohr colony announced today that Alomn, one of its nearby townships, has suffered what has been coined one of “the worst localized disasters” of the past decade. Early this morning, reports of a nuclear failure at the town's plant were publicized after an investigative team was issued to the area to follow up reports of communications from the area having gone dark. Once they arrived, the team immediately discovered that many of the residents were already dead in the streets.
Accusations of an inside job are already arising on the extranet, but in an exclusive interview with Nasurn Weekly, Chief Investigator Pol Jarez dismissed such claims. “It's absolutely ridiculous,” he stated. “We've got dozens of corpses piled up in the streets, and instead of helping, people are accusing us of having set this up.”
In the past twelve hours, specialized hazard response teams have been sent to Alomn to contain the reactor and locate possible survivors. 47 of the town's populace have been labeled deceased, with an additional 125 suffering from radiation sickness. Roughly 50 civilians from the town have been deemed missing thusfar, with the assumption being that some of that number might have fled into the nearby woodland to escape the fallout.
All residences within a 60 kilometer radius have been evacuated; locals are urged to steer clear of the area until the situation is resolved.
12/06/12 - Head of Khar’Shan Ascendancy to Step Down
Alesh Bahk’dal - Khar’Shan News Network
According to the traditions of Abiy’an Tar’isia, the position of Esiv is a lifetime appointment. In a surprising announcement by the Seshat Temple in Khaljah, that tradition will be broken within the next fortnight, as Esiv Kirna Seshat has announced her intentions to step down as Elder of Elders.
“It is with great sadness that I announce that, after many months of prayer and meditation, that my health is deteriorating in such manners counterproductive to the leadership of the People,” the Elder stated earlier today, speaking to a mass of followers, priests, and journalists. “Therefore, as it is my Duty to do what is right for the People, I have found the Courage to break with Tradition, and step down from my position. I intend to stay active within the Faith, but, for the sake of my People, I cannot allow them to blindly follow decisions that may be based out of lack of clear Sight.”
Esiv Kirna has held her position for the past ninety-four years. A member of the Taherach since the age of twelve, she was granted the title Elder of Elders at the young age of forty-two, and was personally responsible for the inspiration, mentoring, and ascendancy of thousands of young priests and priestesses during her tenure as Esiv.
Rumor within the religious caste says that she has been battling Nahkib Syndrome for the past several years, a disease which progressively deteriorates higher-brain functions and can lead to visual impairment and death.
Her successor has not yet been announced, and already, there are currents within the political spectrum that suggest a split in the higher tiers of the caste.
12/08/12 - Shaifel to Acquire Ocatis
Corock Pythas, Ferin Gate Chronicle
Medical corporation Shaifel has announced today that it would agree to acquire Ocatis Pharmaceutical for 3.8 billion credits. It also announced that it would be opening new production facilities on Jaeto, Palaven and Taetrus for the production of tools required to combat chronic element zero toxicity. Ocatis, which has been facing a crisis of supply since imports from the Locrina Relay shut down, faced bankruptcy until Shaifel interceded.
Shaifel Chief Executive Officer Zeewic Taxil is seeking to capitalize on the boom in demand for eezo exposure treatment caused by downed ships in the face of the Reaper War by snapping up a company the means but no resources to manufacture its goods. Meanwhile, Ocatis plans to cuts costs, focus departmental workforces and trim prices to fend off rivals such as Neopcore and Sirta.
Shaifel has performed particularly well in the past year, being one of the first companies to rebound since the Crucible Crash of 2187.
December 2012 – Week Three
Tullin Gavern, Zakera Times
Public demonstrations on T’ahirn, one of the Republic of Tharog-Ekair’s major colonies, have come to an end after a week of civil disorder following the deployment of government security forces to dissolve the protests. “What seemed to be a peaceful protest under the auspices of Republic law quickly devolved into anarchic violence and mass rioting, to which a demonstration of force was deemed necessary to restore order”. Said Minister of Public Security Tharog Jarick in his official statement this morning.
The Republic, situated in the Veios Nebula within the Terminus, has long been dominated politically by a branch of the krogan Clan Tharog and the batarian colony of Ekair since the Republic’s formation in 1582. In the wake of the Reaper War various constituents within the Republic, including turian, asari and human interests, have called for wide reaching political and social reforms, including greater representation within the Republic senate, a lessening of state economic regulations, and calls for a convention to amend the Republic’s constitution.
The demonstrations, which were centered primarily on T’ahirn’s capital of Uriak, have resulted in over 27 deaths, 481 injured, and up to an estimated 40 billion credits in property damage, according to the Republic’s official report. Opposition groups, including the New Reform League, which had sponsored the T’ahirn demonstrations, have accused the Republic of dissolving the protests without provocation, and for releasing inaccurate information regarding the total number of fatalities.
“The Republic is trying to shift blame away from its own forces by holding us accountable for the lives lost in T’ahirn”. NRL spokeswoman Enaya T’sain stated “This was a peaceful demonstration that was violently assaulted upon by government forces without provocation. What we have seen here is the final proof that our leaders have lost the right to govern the interests of the Republic and its constituents.”
The events in T’ahirn have been but the latest in a series of protests across several of the Republic’s colonies, leading many political analysts to predict that the demonstrations may very well culminate in a general insurrection, if not outright revolution.
Elmer Anders, Illium Business Weekly
Sonda Kykriss and Megetta Lornatch, department heads for business at the Quarterhatch News Group, have been arrested for attempting to extort several hundred thousand credits from the volus-led Tiland Bank. According to Tiland representatives, they have reportedly sought monetary compensation in exchange for not running damaging articles on the former’s solvency.
Kykriss and Lornatch are accused of requesting 864,000 credits in exchange for not releasing news stories on Tiland Bank’s worsening financial situation, as well as reportedly “intense” lobbying for Irune- and Illium-based economic stimulus packages which would benefit the bank itself.
Both journalists have denied the allegations, and Quarterhatch has labeled the arrests a “crude and savage attempt to silence the press and endanger the public.” They have threatened a countersuit, and have stated that they will be investigating Tindal’s former CFO Qater Hun (who died in the Irune theater of the Reaper War last year).
Tiland Bank has been facing financial difficulties and has been ranked as “below-average” on the Nebit-Tigree Post-Reaper Recovery Index.
12/12/12 - Second Mine Attack Causes Tension
Cross-Posted from The Tuchanka Times
Kalynd Badlands, Northern Dinroth, TUCHANKA– A second caravan in as many weeks has been destroyed by what appear to be anti-vehicle explosives planted along a one of Tuchanka’s major northern trade routes. While the first incident has been dismissed by some as an unfortunate accident or perhaps a negligent mistake by an amateur merchant group, the victims of the second incident were led by Gyroth Thrag, an experienced local guide. More worrying still, the Thrag Caravan was traveling south along the Orogal Droshan, a heavily-travelled dry riverbed used frequently to reach the northernmost territories of clan Korwun.
In addition to Thrag himself, casualties include 15 krogan and an indeterminate number of vorcha laborers. In response to the attack, Archon Korwun Gant issued the following statement:
“While the loss of life in this most recent incident is regrettable, it has served to highlight what we have been assuming since the first attack: clan Korwun and our allies are under attack. We will find and punish those responsible. In the meantime we have heightened our patrols of the region and intend to protect future caravans from similar tragedies. Korwun territory is safe territory.”
Not all local merchant groups are so confident. Trade through eastern Korwun territory has already diminished in favor of the slightly longer but uncompromised route through the Khalrog Valley, which lies in the territory of the neighboring clan Vynchar. While the Vynchar have not issued a new response to the crisis, they have reduced the usual tributes required for safe passage through their territory, ostensibly to facilitate continued trade and prevent other northern clans from running short on supplies.
The Thessian Observer
SYNFONIX/THESSIA – Two days ago, a long-range reconnaissance outpost on the rim of Asari space reported a strange signal from the Mankina Cluster. This large yet unexplored region of stars beyond relay travel is mostly known for its high density of radio stars which hinder detailed reconnaissance and measurements from explored space. As more details were accumulated, Space Patrol today held a press conference to present an astonishing discovery: after hours of detailed measurements in front of the intense background noise, the signal could be identified as a radio beacon carrier wave originating from a space vessel nearing Asari space.
A local alert was issued at 18:00 GST, sending a wing of fighters to the undisclosed station, but as time went on, the signal became clear enough to establish a connection on the carrier wave. By 1:00 GST, an initial text message could be received, reading “Asari ship Star of Athame requesting permission to approach. Crew and ship is safe, mission accomplished. Signed: Captain Sindi,” followed by the ship’s registration code.
The result has been nothing less than a sensation, as the Star of Athame was a deep space exploration vessel that set out into the cluster 324 standard years ago under the Command of Captain Lir Sindi and the scientific leadership of Doctor Askessa T’Vell. Contact with the vessel was lost three years after its initial exploration, and after a period of 50 years the mission was declared MIA. The ship’s return marks a new record for deep space vessels reappearing after radio silence.
Having established text-based contact with the Star of Athame, authorities expect that the ship will reach stable holotransmission distance within days. However, declassified transmissions revealed by Space Patrol have already drawn a fascinating time capsule, including nine crew member losses, three newborns, 196 mapped planetary systems, 122 explored planetary surfaces, and 34 garden worlds (three of which may have once been occupied by sentient life). The mission has also recovered a 35,000-year-old space probe of unknown origin.
The end of the transmission read: “And what’s new in C-Space? Signed: Cpt. Sindi, Dr. T’Vell”
Space Patrol has not disclosed their reply, but state that the ship and her crew shall be briefed by Matriarch historians about events which have changed the face of the galaxy. The organization has also confirmed that the crew aboard the ship had neither encountered Reapers nor even knew of their existence. The Star of Athame itself has been redirected to a secure, undisclosed facility for quarantine and psychological treatment.
Richard Seong, Attican Outlook
At a glance, there’s nothing remarkable about the colony of Inspiration, a quiet planet on the lip of the Traverse. Cold nights and colder winters are hallmarks of its’ long year, and the harvest seasons are just as unforgiving. But for its’ colonists, a little over one thousand miners surrounding the community of Tenacity, it’s home. And for the Alliance, it’s the site of an uncovered Prothean ruin that could span for kilometers under its surface.
“We’ve only had the opportunity for some basic survey, but if what our instruments are suggesting is true, we could be in these caves for years,” said Dr. Rainn Oliver, head of the team of Alliance scientists sent to explore the ruins. “The potential of this find is extraordinary.”
There’s only one problem: the colonists don’t want them there.
Inspiration has its’ roots in bands of wildcat miners who’d settled it in hopes of exploiting the rich, easily accessible iridium deposits. Most of them were unwilling to share with the Alliance, whom they saw as untrustworthy and disinterested in their livelihoods; this attitude would be shared by a majority of the colony as the community around the mines grew. Still, this didn’t keep them from gladly accepting Alliance aid when the Reapers arrived.
Elation quickly turned to resentment when they realized that the Alliance military presence wasn’t getting ready to pack up. The fighting would uncover subterranean Prothean ruins, left untouched since the species was wiped out by the Reapers fifty thousand years ago.
“They’re wrong to fear the Alliance,” said local garrison commander Colonel Ahmed Khan in a short interview with Outlook. “I don’t think [the colonists] understand the complexity of this situation, or how big a favour we’re doing for them. The moment we pull out, every pirate, raider, and Terminus state this side of the Traverse are going to be scrambling to get their hands on these ruins. They’ll be eviscerated.”
Despite this, it’s clear that many of the colonists see that as little more than empty words. “It’s not protection, it’s occupation,” declared a local dock worker, who asked to remain anonymous. “We built this colony because we didn’t want to live under the Alliance. And now they’re marching in here with their guns and their earthmovers and they tell us it’s for our own good. It’s degrading.”
Those closer to Inspiration’s chief livelihood expressed similar concerns and more - many are worried for their livelihoods. “They keep telling us about potential this, and potential that, but I’m not sure why they expect us to care,” complained Bryson Alvarez, one of Tenacity’s head miners. “They dress it up with big talk over our future and ‘progress’, yet they’re sitting on our mines and our iridium and they won’t let us near half of it. The fact of the matter is this: we never asked the Alliance to stay here, and we ain’t an Alliance colony. They got no right be here.”
The initial Alliance survey should finish within the next three months, where a much larger excavation mission is expected to follow.
December 2012 – Week Four
12/17/12 - New Esiv Named in Khaljah
Chorok As’abak - Khar’Shan News Network
Following a shocking announcement by Esiv Kirna Seshat last week, the Has’mun of Khaljah enacted a rare circumstance in their religious doctrine, and disappeared into sessions of extended isolation from the rest of the world, as they individually meditated on the choice for a new Esiv to guide them.
Their choice? Elder Aranu Livn’et, of the Petetesh Monastery.
The Elder, who, according to traditions, takes no vows or oaths of office upon ascending to Esiv (and adopts the shame of losing his family name), is popular with the lower castes, having entered the religious caste after being inspired to make pilgrimage to Khaljah by a chance meeting with an Esahi in his home country of Nalkesh. Prior to the encounter, Esiv Aranu had been a Tier 6 member of the lower merchant’s caste.
The announcement comes with relief to many of all castes, some of whom were silently preparing for caste splits and intra-tier arguments over the choice of successor to the much-beloved moderation of Esiv Kirna. Pudits outside of Khaljah say little is expected to change overall, as both Esiv Kirna and her successor are known for their similar interpretations of the Mantras, and that fears of a caste split are unfounded.
Esiv Aranu will officially replace Esiv Kirna next week. In the meantime, Petetesh Monastery will prepare itself as the new center of Faith for the followers of the Abiy’an Tar’isia.
12/19/12 - Tayseri Drug Lord “Lady” T’Pasi Found Dead
The Tayseri Times
CITADEL, LOCAL CLUSTER - A grisly discovery awaited C-Sec officers today as the bodies of notorious and elusive drug dealer Avala “Lady” T’Pasi and two men believed to be her top lieutenants, a Mr. Johann Ahlberg and Mr. Caius Avita, were recovered in the districts of Iacto, Sioc, and Roi respectively. The deceased had been shot execution style; the bodies mutilated post mortem and publicly displayed. A brutal and shocking crime, even by the standards of the more dangerous Lower districts, and one more that would appear to have more in common with Omegan gangsters than the average Tayseri criminal.
Unfortunately, that appears to be precisely the issue.
“What we’ve seen over the last couple months has been a marked decline in random, violent crime. Things like muggings, robberies, rapes, and homicides have decreased by nearly eighteen percent with most of the drop being concentrated down Ward.” Sergeant Hasa of Lower Zakera’s Precinct 33 explained.
“Now ordinarily this would be a great thing if it was C-Sec doing it. Instead what’s happening is that, while these statistics have been declining, the incidence of drug charges, prostitution, unlicensed firearms, untaxed imports, and missing persons cases have been spiking across the board. And while random violent crimes have been decreasing, things like what happened to Ms. T’Pasi are becoming more and more common. Taken together this really can only mean one thing: we have organized groups moving into the Lower Wards and they’re expanding. ”
Despite holding the distinction of one of the most secure locations in the galaxy, defended by a force composed of some of the Council’s best and brightest, the Citadel is no stranger to criminal enterprises, and said force is still recovering from the heavy losses sustained during the Reaper War, both during the attempted coup by the human extremist group Cerberus and at the hands of the Reapers themselves in the final days of the War.
“It’s just a mess,” added the Sergeant, “we have career criminals who fled Omega when it fell to Cerberus, Terminus elements who just showed up and never left during the war, war criminals and mercenaries who are between jobs because the bigger companies are crowding them out. Throw in a bunch of old and well established groups like The Light that Dwells within the Depths or the Brother’s Circle moving to take advantage of the power vacuum left by the War and new players like Trinity or the Bloody Hands hungry for a piece of the action? Everything south of Midward is just a powderkeg waiting to happen.”
Tayseri Ward Councilman Massos Veleen had this to say on the situation. “What they have here is the perfect breeding ground: a significantly weakened security force, a station still under repair, and a vast pool of potential recruits to draw from in the form of refugees. To properly address the issue we must first address the root causes and this, I fear, will be a long and arduous task with no easy outcome. ”
December 2012 – Week Five
Late yesterday, just as the human holiday of 'Christmas' began on the colony of New Hyderabad, the entire capital was nearly evacuated as sensors at the systems edge reported an incoming pirate raid. The attacking force consisted of two Mameluke-Class Cruisers and a Xaphin-Class freighter, and with no allied ships within half a dozen light years things looked bleak for the inhabitants of the colony. Raid alarms were sounded and the citizens ran for fallout shelters that were only half-finished when the ships dropped their 'payload'.
Stated New Hyderabad native Layla Haq, "one minute I was running for the fallout shelter on Lodi and Eighth, it was half-finished, but I thought it was my only hope. The next, I heard the ships entering orbit and realized that I wasn't going to make it.”
Several colonists reported seeing the invading forces dropping cluster munitions and panicking before discovering the contents of the aforementioned payloads – that is, multiple foil-wrapped packages of Telka’ Delights Dextro Chocolate Bars.
Said another colonist, “I didn't realize it was some sort of [expletive] Christmas present until, you know, when two Christian dudes I knew started joking about it."
Still others saw the rain not as a confusing, slightly mean prank, but an opportunity. Citing the colony’s inability to consume the products due to chirality issues, Ravana Gupta now intends to resell the payload to nearby turian colonies at a premium.
“With a rain like this, well, we're suddenly a pretty big chocolate supplier, right?” stated Gupta to one press reporter. “Huge economic development, right here."
Telka's Delights Inc. has denied involvement with the stunt, but has otherwise declined to comment.
Lenia Lokan, Enterprise Weekly
Port Hanshan, Noveria – Elanus Risk Control Services announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year contract to increase its security presence around Noveria. “Given the recent upturn in piracy throughout the Horsehead Nebula, the Noveria Development Corporation has asked us to provide additional security forces within the Pax system,” said ERCS Senior Vice President Gaius Decius. “Noveria’s shareholders have become increasingly concerned about the risks to their operations,” he continued. “Along with the NDC, Elanus Risk Control Services hopes that these new measures will reassure our fellow corporations that Noveria is a safe, private place for business and research.”
ERCS has already been awarded a contract to rebuild and expand the orbital GARDIAN platforms that were destroyed by Cerberus forces during the war, but this new plan will double the total number of defense platforms. The security contractor has reached an agreement with the Port Hanshan-based Molurus Aerospace to purchase seventeen new starships and an unspecified number of drones. They plan to expand their planetary forces by adding three new ground companies.
The markets have reacted favorably to the announcement, with the stocks of NDC investors such as Synthetic Insights and Sorvel Dynamics gaining. “Noveria’s relative prosperity in the wake of the Reaper war has attracted unwanted envy,” commented Hyla Ludactyus, GM of Sar-Klon Genomics. “We appreciate the NDC’s efforts to safeguard the privacy of our operations.” Not all Noverian corporations have reacted positively to the news, however. "Piracy in the nebula has only increased over the last year because the pirates that were driven out by the Reapers are starting to return," said an unnamed representative of Cyanid Energy. "Pirate activity is actually lower than the pre-war average. The NDC is using a fluke in the piracy statistics to justify a baseless increase in rents."
December 2012 – Week Six
“New Name, New Ideology” States Manufacturer
Charles Winsome, Alliance News Network
In a joint statement issued today, representatives of both Elkoss Combine and Dumah Gunworks announced that a dispute over Batarian State Arms fabrication rights has been settled out of court. According to the settlement, Elkoss will surrender all claims to the BSA technologies it has acquired, in exchange for full licensed fabrication rights, including for the Terminator assault rifle and the Partisan line of combat hardsuits.
Reactions to the announcement have so far been mixed. Some have praised both sides for avoiding a drawn-out legal battle; for example, notable asari lawyer Hyreen Noleid has been reported stating that “We really did not need another Revenant debacle, thank you.”
However, others, such as Free Trader Con Oref, criticize Elkoss Combine’s actions as “ill-advised” or even “fraudulent.”
“By all rights, [Elkoss] would have won – their giving in so quickly is suspicious,” stated Oref in a statement to ANN press. “I’m not saying blackmail was involved – but I wouldn’t put it above [Dumah].”
Notable military hardware expert, Executor (ret.) Parahax has been quoted as saying that the licensed BSA designs will “fill a niche Elkoss has always been lacking in (...) – high-grade military equipment.” However, he has also warned that the settlement “means effectively the end of Dumah Gunworks’ attempts to market the weapons” as “they do not have, nor ever had, the ability to match [Elkoss]’ standards and mass-production capabilities.” (Full interview available [here] for premium users)
Almost as if to answer Parahax’ doubts, Dumah Gunworks has issued a second statement today. Delivered by company representative Rahab Had’desh, it details a joint proposal between Dumah Gunworks, Pillars Munitions, Ideon Reach and several other Erszbat companies (many of which currently hold rights to Batarian State Arms technologies and/or facilities) for the creation of a unified alliance of companies to replace and act as successor of the BSA. The proposal also entails creating everything from small arms to entire spacecraft, primarily for use by the Confederacy’s own armed forces.
In a passionate, half-hour long speech, Had’desh also criticized Batarian State Arms, describing it as “purposefully made to stifle creativity [and] suppress access to technology,” and that while BSA “was a symbol of, just another facet of the everpresent oppression of the Hegemony”, the proposed Confederate Arms Manufacture will “be testament to the ingenuity, to the creativity [sic] of the best of the batarian people” while upholding “the virtues we see the Confederacy has come to represent.” (Full statement available [here] for premium users)
Despite the criticism (much of which is directed at an unprecedented proposal for the sharing of facilities and personnel between Confederate Arms Manufacture and its constituents), reactions have been generally favorable. While the Confederation Council has not issued a response at time of publication, experts agree that the companies have made a very strong case, and it is likely that CAM designs will hit the market in the coming months.