The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during February 2011. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
February 2011 – Week One
02/01/11 - Palaven tourism vessel involved in fatal crash
In a catastrophe already being billed as “the worst air traffic disaster in recent memory”, 56 people have been killed and another 13 are missing after a mid-air collision between a sight-seeing vessel and an autocab in the skies over Palaven. Initial reports indicate that the autocab crashed into the tourist ferry, instantly killing the cab’s occupants and bringing the ferry down. Local politicians are praising the ferry’s crewmembers, saying that without their swift action in evacuating the majority of the passengers, many more lives could have been lost. Search-and-rescue operations are continuing throughout the night.
02/02/11 - C-Sec expresses concern over Earth-based gangs
C-Sec issued a report today that expressed concern about the growing presence of Earth-based gangs, both on the Citadel and in Citadel Space. According to a C-Sec representive, “many of these gangs have their origins in urban slums on Earth. On Earth, they were oriented around petty crimes and small scale violence. However, an alarming number of their members seem to be making their way into the interstellar community, where they are now associated with larger scale crimes such as piracy and inter-species violence.”
It is uncertain how these gangs are gaining the resources to move off-world, but C-Sec has speculated that some of them may be associating with larger criminal enterprises. The Alliance has vowed to crack down on the problem, but many on the Citadel are not convinced. Said one turian diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous: “The Humans want galactic influence, but they can’t even take care of the problems caused by the slums on their own homeworld. Now those problems are becoming a danger for the rest of us.”
02/03/11 - Son of racing superstar found dead
A body found in the sewers of the Terminus space station Omega has been confirmed today to be that of Jasper Morris, son of famous race pilot Zachary Morris and movie starlet Helena Smith. 1-year old Jasper disappeared from his crib 2 weeks ago, with the kidnappers leaving behind a note demanding a sizable sum for his safe return. Although Morris and Smith pleaded for their son’s life on galactic vid channels and claimed to have delivered the money to the specified Terminus accounts, Jasper was never returned.
“The Galactic racing community mourns with Zach and Helena,” said Citadel racing league commissioner Jara Crelali, “And we pray that his murderers are bought to justice.” Morris and Smith have gone into seclusion, but Morris is expected to race in the Rings of Saturn Cup in the Earth solar system in 2 weeks’ time. A memorial is planned for Jasper Morris before the race begins.
02/04/11 - Celebrity duo to adopt Taetrian orphan
Human celebrities Jason and Melinda Dekeyrel have begun formal procedures today to adopt one of the many turian orphans left in the wake of the military operations in the Diluvian Wildlands of Taetrus. The couple, known for their popular talkshow “Presidium Talk,” recently traveled to Taetrus as part of a special feature on the recent war. While there they visited one of the numerous orphanages set up to house turian children left orphaned by the conflict and now wish to adopt a 6-year-old turian girl named Iulai. Melinda Dekeyrel said at a recent press conference: “Jason and I realize there is a racial difference, but we believe we can give Iulai everything she needs. We have fallen in love with her and just want to give her a loving, caring home far away from all of the war and bloodshed she’s had to endure so far in her short life.”
In response to the couple’s announcement, there have been numerous outcries from turian groups who claim Iulai should be raised by a turian couple within the Hierarchy. A court on Taetrus will convene to be decided if the Dekeyrels should be allowed to adopt Iulai.
02/05/11 - Parliament debates treatment for biotic children
The Alliance Parliament began hearings today on a controversial medical treatment for biotics seeking to have children. Currently, biotic women who bear children face the risk that the developing embryo will absorb element zero from the mother’s body during pregnancy, which can lead to miscarriage, loss of biotic ability in the mother, and neural degenerative disorders in a surviving child. The treatment, called the Grissom Protocol by its developers at the Jon Grissom Academy, involves a continuous low-dose infusion of element zero administered by an intravenous pump worn by the mother for the first six months of pregnancy. While the treatment guarantees that both mother and child will have biotic ability, many fear that the treatment is ripe for abuse by non-biotic parents or people who want biotic children and should be banned completely. Responded Dr. Keiko Ozawa, co-inventor of the treatment and a biotic herself, “We biotics are still human beings. We have as much of a right to have children as any other human. This treatment makes that possible without placing our lives and the lives of our children at risk. And if we want our children to enjoy our biotic gifts, that is our choice, not the government’s.”
[via Ars Biotica]
February 2011 – Week Two
02/06/11 - Elcor simulstim legend announces retirement
The simulstim industry is baffled today over a surprise announcement of retirement by legendary elcor actor Petzac. Initially gaining a name for himself as a breakout comic actor Petzac starred in beloved titles such as the asari rom-com “Quick Love”, and salarian slapstick “The Naked Truth”. In his later years Petzac went on to shock audiences to critical acclaim as the murderous fuel station owner Deluzi in space-thriller “Station 441″. His most recent work was the stunning biopic “13 hours” depicting the real life story of an Elcor’s overland trek to warn human colonists of an impending pirate attack. Speaking to a crowd of reporters Petzac had this to say. “Patient clarification: While I have a reputation of impulsiveness, please be assured that I have contemplated this decision for some time. Sincerely: I would like to thank my many fans across the galaxy for their support over my long career.” When asked by a reporter if he had any plans given his new free time, Petzac replied “Comedic jest: I have been considering a hobby in curve-gliding.”
02/07/11 - Systems Alliance steps up frontier patrols
Due to increased mercenary activity on the frontier of Alliance Space, the Alliance Navy has increased the number of patrols in its outlying colonies. Mercenary groups such as the Blue Suns and Blood Pack have hit the most isolated of these holdings: contact was lost last week with New Dallas and Nueva Fortuna in the Zeus Sigma Cluster, and other colonies in the region are fearing they’re next. Third Fleet commander Admiral Dirk van Breendonk defended this decision to detractors yesterday. “This is not a move of imperialism; we are doing this to protect those the Alliance was created to protect. We will not let these marauders rampage through our colonies unopposed.”
02/08/11 - Nos Astra serial killer still on the loose
The hunt continues for the Nos Astra Hangman, a serial killer who has claimed three victims to date in Illium’s capital. All three victims were found in their homes, having died instantly from a broken neck caused by an improvised ligature and a sharp drop. Nos Astra authorities have concluded that citizens who possess multiple-story homes are being targeted, due to the need for a significant height to cause instant death. “Our first priority is to protect citizens who are in danger of being selected by the Hangman,” claimed an anonymous source within the Nos Astra Police Department, “but pulling that off is a logistical nightmare. We can’t just go around asking everyone in sight if they have stairs in their house.”
02/09/11 - Biological father of Taetrian orphan comes forward
Eonus Aulus, a fleet captain in the Hierarchy military, claims that 6-year-old Iulai is his daughter and has demanded that the Dekeyrels cease their adoption proceedings immediately and the girl be returned to him. In a statement released by the Hierarchy military, Aulus said, “I lost my wife, Iulai’s mother, during the war. I believed Iulai died with her. I understand that the Dekeyrels had her best interests at heart, but I want my daughter back. She deserves to be with her family.” The Dekeyrels have released a counter-statement, announcing that they are still going ahead with the adoption, claiming that they can offer Iulai a more stable environment on the Citadel with the love of two parents rather than one.
02/10/11 - Turian comedian to join the cast of The Peanut Gallery
Turian farceur Lorus Caelix announced today that he would be joining the cast of “The Peanut Gallery”, an Earth-based show in which three comedians sit in a darkened theater, watch low-budget, low-quality vids that have entered the public domain, and make wisecracks at their plots, dialogue delivery, and direction. When asked why he was joining the previously all-human cast, Caelix said, “They asked me. Their producer loved my one-man acts when he saw them on Illium, and they were looking for a turian to replace Jagdish (Chua, the late third member of the trio) after his unfortunate death attempting to climb K2.”
The Peanut Gallery, originally thought to appeal only to a human audience, has grown in popularity galaxy-wide, having heckled such B-vid classics as “The Day Thessia Froze,” “Hercules vs. the Salarians,” and “Manasynder: The Tentacles of Doom.” When asked why the show was looking specifically for a turian, Caelix replied, “Most people think turians don’t have a sense of humor. I, and The Peanut Gallery, intend to prove them wrong.” While Caelix has signed on too late to be included in the Gallery’s heckling of 2139’s box-office bomb “Ran Furto: Wonder Volus,” The Peanut Gallery’s office in Minneapolis has confirmed that Caelix will appear alongside fellow Gallery occupants Devon Mendenhall and Travis Coldstream for their much-anticipated riffing of the infamous 1642 quarian-asari-elcor-sploitation film “Prehistoric CaveBabes from Beyond the Far Rim.”
02/12/11 - Wildcat miners battle on Presrop
Alliance marines were forced to step in today to stop a battle between two groups of wildcat miners on Presrop, a moon of the planet Klendagon. The battle allegedly broke out after both groups laid claim to a large deposit of uranium. Each group was armed with pistols, assault rifles, and basic kinetic barriers, and their dispute soon turned to armed conflict. By the time Alliance marines landed, eight people had been killed, and six wounded.
When asked how the Alliance intends to handle the situation, Major Kristin Ran, with the Alliance Marine detachment, stated that, “We have disarmed and separated the parties in question, and are treating the wounded. We intend to survey the uranium deposit and mark it for excavation by a licensed and authorized mining corporation. We then intend to fine each of the wildcat miners, and move them off world. None of them had permission to operate here.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
February 2011 – Week Three
02/13/11 - Thessian group to host Earth cultural event
The Galactic Cultural Exploration Group based out of Thessia has announced that it is hosting a two week long exhibit to explore human culture, which will take place on Illium in one month. “We have been working with several cultural groups based on Earth to get accurate representations of human culture,” spokesperson Nira T’Mire explained. “Each day will feature a different major nation from Earth and its way of life.” The group has previously hosted similar events based on krogan, turian, salarian, quarian, and hanar culture. Tickets will be sold both at the venue and over the extranet starting tomorrow.
02/14/11 - Disastrous earthquake strikes mining colony
Human mining colony Dobrovolski was struck by its most powerful recorded earthquake since the colony’s settlement today, when a quake measuring 9.7 MW hit the outlying region of Satoyava. Initial fatalities are thought to be between 10 and 25, mostly miners operating in a remote element zero mine near the epicenter of the quake. Search efforts are currently underway to locate survivors, though hopes are slim due to the hostile atmosphere of the planet and the magnitude of the earthquake.
02/15/11 - Parliament approves, but restricts, controversial biotic treatment
After more than a week of hearings and heated debate on the future of the Grissom Protocol, a treatment that allows biotics to safely have biotic children, members of the Alliance Parliament approved a compromise law in a late-night session that would approve the treatment with restrictions addressing the ethical and moral concerns raised by the treatment’s opponents. The treatment will only be available to women who are already biotic, and who are capable of consenting to the six-month treatment schedule, and only doctors specially licensed by the Alliance will be allowed to prescribe it. Non-biotics will not be allowed to undergo the treatment, under threat of stiff criminal penalties for both patient and doctor. Biotics were pleased with the new law, but some saw evidence in the hearings of anti-biotic discrimination and public fear. Samir Al-Bihani, president of the Alliance Association for the Advancement of Biotic Peoples, said “we’re still thought of as abnormal, as freaks, as people with undesirable traits who need permission slips from the state to procreate. This law is legal progress, but not moral progress. No one is more concerned about abusing this treatment as we are. Many of us know what it’s like to be abused and experimented on. That’s why it’s so important for biotic children to be born into loving families with parents who understand their childrens’ unique powers and potential.”
[via Ars Biotica]
02/16/11 - Legal battle begins for Iulai Aulus
The legal battle for the turian child Iulai Aulus began today on Taetrus with the girl’s father Eonus Aulus on one side and the human celebrity couple Jason and Melinda Dekeyrel on the other. Representing the human couple is asari lawyer Sanjida T’Dolas, whereas Captain Aulus is represented by a team of legal specialists from the Hierarchy military. Both parties claim they can offer the best environment for the child.
“She must be raised by her blood kin. By turians. How can a pair of humans claim to know how to raise a turian girl?” asked the turians in their opening statement. T’Dolas rebutted, “Iulai needs a caring, loving environment with two parents to raise her. Captain Aulus is a dedicated career soldier. How much time would he have to raise his daughter?” There has been no comment from the appointed arbitrators overseeing the case.
02/17/11 - Subterranean caverns found beneath Dobrovolski
While the search efforts on mining colony Dobrovolski continue, a number of scientists have flocked to a large rift revealed by the quake. Initial scans of the rift have revealed that it opens into a vast subterranean cavern which has, until now, lain undetected. Doctor Walter Simpson, leader of the reconnaissance team hastily-assembled to explore the cavern, spoke to the media earlier today saying, “I know that the situation elsewhere in the region is grim, but this quake has opened up a fascinating new side of Dobrovolski. This cave system is huge — far too large to have occurred naturally. Whatever made this, finding out could put this planet on the map as more than just an eezo mine.”
02/18/11 - Celebrity couple stops adoption proceedings
Jason and Melinda Dekeyrel, the human couple who have been fighting a legal battle to be allowed to adopt a turian child from Taetrus, announced their intention to drop their case and allow the girl’s father to reclaim his daughter. Fleet Captain Eonus Aulus, father to the 6-year-old Iulai, gave an emotional speech in response: “I can only express the deepest gratitude to the Dekeyrels for standing aside and allowing me to take my daughter home. We all had Iulai’s best interests at heart, but her place is with her family.” The Dekeyrels have declined further comment and returned to the Citadel shortly after saying farewell to Iulai.
February 2011 – Week Four
02/20/11 - Influenza outbreak hits the Citadel
An outbreak of influenza that began on Earth last month seems to have traveled to the Citadel. While generally not fatal, this recent outbreak has stymied Alliance doctors because it seems to have evolved immunity to many modern medical treatments. In an even larger surprise, the Citadel influenza outbreak seems to have snared not only humans, but also asari, who had previously not shown much susceptibility to human illnesses.
Citadel businesses have reported a large number of humans and asari out sick this week, and C-Sec is reportedly short staffed, with officers who are not ill working double and triple shifts. Dr. Chloe Michel, who runs a Med Clinic in the Upper Wards, issued the following statement: “Both humans and asari who are affected should stay at home and keep hydrated. Humans can expect to be down for at least a week, while asari should be sick for only two to three days. Furthermore, a number of the Asari affected by this have reported an inability to use their biotics. We do not entirely understand this phenomenon, but it does not appear to be permanent, and should not be a cause of panic.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
02/21/11 - 14 killed in Citadel office shootout
The Juri-Tech corporate accounting and logistics facility was the scene of a brutal murder spree earlier today when Iltaga Lurrni opened fire in the accounting division where he worked on the Citadel’s Kithoi Ward, killing 14 and wounding another 10. According to C-SEC reports, Iltaga started ‘screaming like a madman’ before pulling out a Hurricane-3 model shotgun and firing wildly into the room around him. “It was absolutely terrifying,” Jenni Moss, one of Iltaga’s coworkers, said to a reporter at the scene of the bloodbath. “He just brought up the shotgun and said how he needed more time, how no one ever gave him enough time, and he just [fired] into the crowd!”
C-SEC still has no motive behind the slayings, but are not ruling out drug use.
02/22/11 - Massacre on the Systems Alliance frontier
Alliance patrols sent to investigate the colonies of New Dallas and Nueva Fortuna in the Zeus Sigma Cluster have discovered a horrific scene, with both colonies utterly decimated by what is believed to be attacks by elements of the “Big Three” mercenary groups. “Recon units sent down to the surface reported almost no survivors,” said Admiral van Breendonk in the Third Fleet’s official release. “However, those we did find and other indicators point to the Blood Pack and the Blue Suns as the aggressors in this unprovoked assault.”
Gunnery Chief Henry Davidson was one of the Marines sent to investigate Nueva Fortuna. “It was horrible; bodies were lying everywhere. Everything of any possible value had been ransacked, LT said the colony’s infrastructure had been devastated… I don’t know how this place’ll be able to rebuild.” Admiral van Breendonk condemned the attacks, announcing that, “I said we will not let these marauders rampage through our colonies unopposed, and damned if I’m not going to do my utmost to stop them.”
02/23/11 - Salarian film crew reported missing in Afghan DMZ on Earth
A crew of eight salarians filming a documentary in the unstable Afghan DMZ on Earth has been declared missing after failing to check in with their supervisors three days ago. The crew was last reported seen in Helmand Province, in the south of the DMZ, travelling in a convoy escorted by local security. United Nations Peace Enforcement Mission spokesman Col. Jan de Groot said in a press conference that surveillance drones have been deployed all over the area, but since the convoy did not report their location or that they had come under attack, they would be impossible to locate in the rough terrain. Col. De Groot also noted that although several extremist and insurgent groups are active in the region, none have claimed responsibility for any attack. The salarians were filming a documentary for the salarian extranet channel Great Frontier on the troubled Afghan DMZ, a region of Earth that has been in a near-continuous state of civil war since 1979 CE, well before First Contact. The Afghan DMZ is one of the poorest and most undeveloped regions on Earth, with an average life expectancy of 45 years, versus 105 years for humanity as a whole.
[via BBC Galactic]
02/24/11 - Alliance students to visit homeworlds
A group of 70 high school students from across Alliance space have been selected for week long visits to Palaven, Thessia, and Sur’Kesh. The students, selected on the basis of academic performance, written essays, and face to face interviews, will be the first group to take part in the “Allied Races Exploration Program,” which was recently started by the Grissom Academy.
The program is meant to expose student leaders from throughout the Alliance to political leaders and influential thinkers in key allied governments. The students will be attending lectures by foreign leaders in politics, government, religion, and business, and will occasionally break off into small groups to participate in private question and answer sessions. Said Samantha Lewis, the head of the program: “Cooperation with key allies is going to be vital for the future of the Systems Alliance. This program gives our future leaders the chance to be exposed to, and understand, the differing viewpoints of others in the galaxy.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
02/25/11 - Palaven celebrates Unification Day
The skies over Palaven and turian colonies throughout the galaxy are alight with celebratory fireworks as the Hierarchy commemorates Unification Day, a holiday remembering the conclusion of the Unification War. Though each colony has its own customs and celebrations for the holiday, it is always heralded by festivals, extravagent parties, battle reenactments and public, community performances of the Hierarchy anthem. Official celebrations conclude with a public statement from each region’s primarch.
02/27/11 - Afghan extremist group holding salarians hostage
In a recently uploaded extranet video, the Grand Emirate of Afghanistan, an extremist group active in the Afghan DMZ, claimed to be holding eight missing salarians as hostages. Both the United Nations Peace Enforcement Mission (UNPEM) and outside experts believe the video to be genuine. The salarians, members of a film crew, were abducted while filming a documentary. The video begins with graphic footage of an attack on the crew’s convoy, including the decapitation of three local security guards protecting the convoy. The leader of the GEA, Abdul Abu Rahman, is later seen on the video standing behind eight blindfolded and gagged salarians sitting on the ground. In a rambling statement, Abu Rahman claims that the salarian hostages are “abominations,” genetic human clones sent by the United Nations as shock troops to commit “the genocide of the Afghan people and the extermination of their faith.” Abu Rahman further claims that humanity has not traveled off of Earth or established off-world colonies, and that all evidence of extraterrestrial life is propaganda. The video segment concludes with demands for the immediate withdrawal of all United Nations Peace Enforcement soldiers from the Afghan DMZ, or failing that, their conversion to the human religion of Islam, as well as the recognition of the GEA as the government of Afghanistan and the imposition of religious law over the whole DMZ. UNPEM spokesmen refused to comment on the substance of the video, but noted that every available UNPEM resource has been called in to locate the salarian hostages.
[Via BBC Galactic Service]
02/28/11 - Relationships with asari may provide health benefits, study says
A study by Dr. Nada DeSouza, a researcher at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, claims that human/asari relationships might carry health benefits for the humans involved. The study, conducted on a group of asari/human couples over the past 15 years, indicates that the humans in such relationships seem to exhibit better physical and mental health than humans in same-species relationships. Human partners in asari relationships seemed to suffer from notably fewer cases of depression, and seemed to exhibit marginally higher resistance to minor illnesses, such as colds or the flu.
Dr. DeSouza warned that “the results are still preliminary, and are not yet fully explained.” She stated that “a more comprehensive study must be conducted over the next few decades. However, it would seem that relationships with asari may, somehow, convey health benefits. One possibility we are exploring is that the mental connection established during acts of physical intimacy may help to significantly reduce stress and keep humans emotionally and mentally centered. This would likely ward off mental illness, while also possibly creating a slight boost to physical health.”
[via Alliance Beacon]