The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during February 2012. This month also marked the end of the official fan-based feed for Cerberus Daily News in the pre-Mass Effect 3 setting, for official Twitter updates for the game began running on February 21, 2012].
Following the inception of Mass Effect 3 on the Cerberus Daily News Forums, the Alliance News Network released periodic news stories covering major events throughout the Reaper War until the events of the Final Battle of Earth. Following this, the Cerberus Daily News site “relaunched” (ostensibly by a small group of bored salarians), and fan-made articles began being run on the site once more – this time, from the perspective of the “post-Reaper War” universe.
See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
February 2012 – Week One
02/01/12 - Ashland criticized for Fernandez comments
Aish Ashland is in hot water today, over comments she recently made about Maria Fernandez. Following the Bekenstein opening of the newest Visions nightclub, Ashland was asked about the conductor by Eye on the Galaxy reporter Nyessi T’Byer. “I have no sympathy for Fernandez,” Ashland replied. “She doesn’t support in-utero modification, and that’s what happens to people without it. It’s not just the illness, either. I mean, have you looked at her? She’s fat.” Although Fernandez herself has not issued a statement, Ashland’s comments have sparked harsh criticism on the extranet, with well-known human celebrity blogger Devon Starlight referring to her as a Wizard of Oz celebrity: “She’s the little rich girl with no heart, no brain, and no courage.”
02/02/12 - Intai’Sei gunman not competent to stand trial
Intai’Sei Colonial Court judge Deonte Kon ruled yesterday that Darren Painter, accused of murdering two colonial police officers and the daughter of Councilor Korat Udorn, is incapable of understanding the charges against him and cannot stand trial. Painter has been undergoing psychiatric evaluation at an undisclosed Alliance facility since his initial hearing. Records released by his attorneys state that Painter has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Despite treatment with powerful anti-psychotic medications, Painter has assaulted facility staff, filled journals with unintelligible rants, and was recently placed on suicide watch. Judge Kon ordered Painter indefinitely committed to the secure facility, subject to periodic review of his mental state. Judge Kon also ordered all evidence and testimony in the case preserved so that it can be used in a future trial if Painter’s condition ever improves. [Via the Thoreau Republic]
02/03/12 - Maitland’s renegade flagship issues anti-Alliance statement
Alliance diplomats are scrambling today in response to a statement from the renegade Maitland colony frigate Coromandel. The statement, carried by an unmanned drone into the contested system and broadcast to all planetary networks, comes from Coromandel’s Captain Joseph Denton, who states his and his crew’s intention to conduct what he calls “a campaign of harassment” against Alliance interests, both to secure his own colony’s independence and to demonstrate to its neighbors that the Alliance can be resisted. Diana Julien, the Alliance diplomat who led the effort to secure Maitland’s membership, issued a statement in response flatly denying Denton’s allegations that the colony’s referendum on the matter was rigged. “I understand Captain Denton’s feelings,” Julien said. “Many in the Terminus systems distrust the Alliance, and it will take time for us to demonstrate that membership does not mean sacrificing a colony’s independence and identity. But Captain Denton’s fellow Maitlanders freely chose this course, and I appeal to him to respect their wishes and give us a chance to prove we’re not the enemy he and his crew believe we are.” Sources indicate the Alliance Navy has sent additional units to reinforce the Maitland patrol force.
02/04/12 - Deal reached at Prothean hostage site
Good news from the Illuminated Primacy today, where hostage negotiator Larus Kalot has announced a deal with Bindo and its followers. Following nearly three weeks of heated negotiations, Bindo and its team have agreed to release their hostages, and turn themselves over to Primacy authorities. In return, it has been agreed that only adherents of the Enkindler religion will examine Halo of Light’s recently discovered site. Bindo has given in on its demands that the scientific community repudiate the recent mass relay findings, and that access to all Prothean sites be limited. Under the agreement, Bindo is allowed one day to prepare a statement to the galaxy. It will then release the hostages and surrender to the authorities.
February 2012 – Week Two
02/05/12 - Religious figure and hostages killed
Tragedy on Halo of Light, today, where Bindo, its followers, and its hostages have been killed in a massive explosion. Trouble started in the late morning, when Bindo refused to follow an agreement reached with hostage negotiators. Instead of surrendering, the religious figure told authorities, “This one has changed its mind. It has grown fond of the Enkindler artifacts. It is not ready to give them up. It, as well as the others, wishes to stay with them.” Following the announcement, a drell infiltration team entered the site. The explosion occurred several minutes later, killing everyone within the site, and reportedly destroying all Prothean artifacts. Hostage negotiator Larus Kalot would not talk to reporters, and neither the Illuminated Primacy nor the Citadel Council would confirm reports that the infiltration team was led by a turian Spectre, who was also killed in the explosion.
02/06/12 - Commentators face off on genetic engineering
In response to the debate over genetic modification that has been sparked by the illness of Maria Fernandez, Trans-human activist Melissa Gebrezghi faced off with Alliance Civil Liberties Coalition head Wolfgang Hartmann in a Future Content Corporation broadcast debate. Gebrezghi argued that the Alliance should not allow parents to opt out of in-utero modifications for serious illnesses. “We’d arrest parents who poison their children,” she said. “But it’s okay for them to force their children to live with severe, possible fatal, genetic illnesses?” Hartmann rebutted that medical decisions should be in the hands of parents. “Free society depends on choice,” he said. “Are we to force submission to medical treatments? How is that freedom?”
02/07/12 - Terra Nova gears up for ExByArc
Final preparations are underway in Scott on Terra Nova for the Exodus By Arcturus festival. One of the largest independent music, vid, and interactives festivals in the Systems Alliance, ExByArc, as the gathering is known, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Last year’s festival attracted 25,000 registered attendees and sold over 600,000 tickets, a major boost to the colony’s economy. Hotels, theaters, and concert venues are booked solid all over Scott and its suburbs. Artists and bands from all over the galaxy will be playing in the festival’s 57 music venues, including Enkindle This, Maya and the Azure Supernovas, A.F. Aramen, The Navigators, Congealed, Solid Rawkh, HyPer TangL, Jana Synesrix, The TriChordates, Roberto Rey, Featherstar, and Spark of Genius. More than 600 vids will premiere at this year’s ExByArc, including documentaries, short films, and features, as well as hundreds of new interactive applications and services.
02/08/12 - Former Maitland flagship cripples Alliance supply vessel
The Maitland colony is under martial law tonight, following an apparently coordinated attack by the renegade warship Coromandel and sympathizers on Maitland that has left one Alliance vessel a wreck, and severely shaken local confidence in the Alliance Navy’s ability to maintain order in the region. Alliance cruiser squadron 537 was drawn out of position with an electronic warfare drone mimicking a frigate’s emissions signature, then a vessel positively identified as Coromandel revealed herself from behind Maitland’s larger moon and made a hit-and-run attack on SSV Ericsson, squadron 537′s munitions and fuel supply ship, causing severe damage to the tanker’s cargo areas and forcing her evacuation. Efforts to intercept Coromandel before she escaped the system were hampered by a shock attack on the planet’s surface, where insurgents detonated a bomb in the Signals Tracking Center, the facility responsible for coordinating the system’s remote sensor network.
Alliance Rear Admiral Zacarías issued a statement following the incident, reassuring Maitland’s citizens of his squadron’s operational capability regardless of the loss of the Ericsson, and emphasising the threat posed by Captain Denton’s operations. “Denton is not some romantic Robin Hood,” the Admiral pointed out. “His people have murdered their fellow Maitlanders in the STC bombing. I’m confident the colony is behind us one hundred percent in our mission to bring him to justice.”
02/09/12 - ExByArc festival opens to roaring crowds
Speaking at X57 Memorial Plaza before the kickoff concert of ExByArc, festival organizer Penn Malvern took a few minutes to thank the assembled fans. “Fifteen years ago, we had a one-night concert and two second-run indie movies. Look how far we’ve come. People from all over the galaxy come here to share their art, their movies, their songs, and their stories with all of us. That’s beyond cool. That’s beyond excellent. That’s extraordinary. And it’s all done by and for you – the fans.” Malvern then offered the words that have opened every ExByArc for 15 years: “Be peaceful, be generous, have fun, and enjoy the show!” The show’s lead act, spacer rock quartet The Navigators, opened the concert with a special tribute to the victims and survivors of the 2183 X57 terrorist plot against Terra Nova, the debut of their new single “Calling All Heroes.”
02/10/12 - Jana Synesrix concert ends in riot at ExByArc
Turian singer/songwriter Jana Synesrix’s performance at ExByArc ended with controversy and police sirens last night. Synesrix, a native of the separatist-leaning Galatana colony and an outspoken separatist supporter, burst onto the galactic scene in 2184 after serving a six year stint in a Hierarchy prison. During her concert at the Orpheum concert hall, Synesrix repeatedly attacked the Hierarchy for “militarism” and accused it of sapient rights violations, culminating with her song “The Judgment Stone” about the 2140 Ciraciian Massacre on Galatana. Leaving with the crowd in an uproar, Synesrix returned with an encore – a cover of an early 20th Century human showtune, “Pirate Jenny,” a graphic tale about a young hotel maid’s murderous revenge on an abusive town with the help of a pirate gang and their “Black Freighter.” Synesrix ended the song saying, “And all you Hierarchy beasts, the Black Freighter’s coming for you too.” Chaos ensued; approximately 40 turian concertgoers were arrested by Scott City Police for inciting a riot after they rushed the stage, and Synesrix herself was escorted from the hall under heavy guard. Synesrix’s publicist has refused to comment.
02/11/12 - Auteur’s daugher comes into her own at ExByArc
Kayana Fannus, daughter of legendary drell actor/director Fell Fannus, is making waves at ExByArc this year with the premiere of her first feature film, Rakhana Siha. The younger Fannus directed and starred in the film, which was produced by her father. She portrays a wounded Compact soldier who seeks physical and spiritual healing by returning to the drell homeworld of Rakhana and living in the ruins of a monastery. While there, she gradually befriends a tribe of nomads, who she ultimately defends against Compact drell who seek to uproot the tribe to join the Compact. Response has been overwhelmingly positive. Jonah Jessup of the Scott Examiner praised Fannus’ performance for “its seamless blend of her father’s intense method acting and her own character-driven style,” while Naisa D’Vell of Thessia Screen and Stage said, “Rakhana Siha brings Rakhana to life: epic, haunting, and beautiful.” Speaking at the Festival Director’s Roundtable, young Fannus was reserved. “Dad always said, tell a story you love, and do it justice, and your audience will follow. And he was right.”
February 2012 – Week Three
02/12/12 - Fernandez rejects role in debate
In an interview with Alliance Today’s Minna Wahab, Maria Fernandez rejected the debate over genetic modification that her illness has sparked. “I think my parents did the right thing,” she said. “If I were a parent, I’d have done the same. But I don’t think that genetic engineering should be illegal. I just think it should be the choice of the parents.” As Fernandez strolled along a beach with Wahab, she told the reporter that she has no regrets. “I’ve lived a long life. I’ve accomplished a lot. With medical treatments available today, I can live a lot longer. But the moral is still to do what you can, when you can.”
02/13/12 - MCS Coromandel reinforced by rebel vessels
The situation in the Maitland region continues to deteriorate for the Systems Alliance. Not only has the Alliance Navy failed to locate the renegade MCS Coromandel, two other system patrol vessels, light frigate TCN Califia from Thornton and heavy scout MRS Fidanza from Mindaribba, have apparently joined Coromandel in self-imposed exile and opposition to the Alliance, and three Alliance merchant vessels have now been attacked, including the MSV Hélène Blondeau which was lost with all hands. Both the Thornton and Mindaribba colonial governments have disavowed any connection with the rogue vessels. However, Alliance diplomat Diana Julien has accused both of using a legal fiction to claim neutrality while their vessels support terrorist acts. In return the Thornton administration has issued the extraordinary claim that the Hélène Blondeau was deliberately targeted by an Alliance Navy destroyer. Alliance Rear Admiral Zacarías has denied any such operation and dismissed as forgeries the sensor records provided by Thornton purporting to show the vessel responsible.
02/14/12 - Survey team quarantined
An ExoGeni survey team has been quarantined, today, following an attempt to chart the third planet in the Attican Traverse’s Randstad System. The team was scouting an island continent in the southern hemisphere to determine if the garden world is suitable for colonization, when three team members reported feeling severe pain on exposed skin. It appears they came into contact with a previously unknown fungus that attaches to animal life and rapidly consumes its flesh. Two of the exposed team members have been reported dead, while a third has had a limb amputated, and is said to be in critical condition. ExoGeni, meanwhile, has not commented on its colonization plans for the planet.
02/15/12 - MSelf App pushes technical, legal boundaries
Among the new apps on display at the ExByArc Interactives Festival on Terra Nova, one in particular is turning the heads of designers and governments alike. MSelf, created by Illium-based salarian-human startup K-Wave, is a “personal avatar.” The program works by tracking a user’s movements, purchases, and communications and heuristically distilling them into a VI program that can, with enough input, be used to predict the likes and dislikes of the person it models. K-Wave Chief Developer Kristof Benz said, “The thing with most VI’s is that they only record what a person consciously does or says. By tracking how our customers live, work, and communicate, we make it possible for other people to predict how they’d react to everything from a sales pitch to a pickup line.” Though VI reconstruction of living personalities is illegal under Council law, K-Wave claims that its software complies with the law because the avatars generate only a range of probable responses and nothing that could be used to create a specific response. Nevertheless, staffers from the Citadel Council’s Technology Review Commission have been observed showing particular interest in the K-Wave booth.
02/16/12 - Retired official warns of economic risk
Are galactic financial institutions sitting on a time bomb? In a controversial speech to a Presidium think tank, Dr. Torm Owel, a retired official with the Citadel Council’s Ministry of Finance, claimed that colonial-backed securities could potentially crash the galactic economy. “C-space financial institutions are binge lending to risky, Earth-clan colonization efforts,” Dr. Torm Owel said. “These loans have been repackaged and sold throughout the galaxy as ‘safe.’ It’s an economic apocalypse waiting to happen.” A brief statement from the Ministry of Finance dismissed Torm Owel’s claims as “alarmist.” Meanwhile, Baas Nevras, a spokesperson for the Unified Bank of Irune, was no kinder: “Torm Owel’s claims are based on faulty logic, and a fundamental misunderstanding of both colonial-backed securities and the galactic economy.”
02/17/12 - Maitland conflict ends with violent resolution
The confrontation surrounding the Maitland colony came to a stunning climax earlier today, as the renegade warship MCS Coromandel engaged Alliance cruiser squadron 537 in battle, inflicting damage on Rear Admiral Zacarías’s flagship SSV Khartoum before being destroyed. Coromandel entered the system at 19:30 local time, and broadcast a short message in which Captain Joseph Denton restated his belief that the referendum in which the Maitland colony agreed to join the Alliance was a fraud, but denied any connection to any organization beyond his own crew and denounced those responsible for the STC bombing which killed 37 Maitland citizens and 8 Alliance technicians. Coromandel then shut down communications and, with her weapons and defensive systems active, entered squadron 537′s engagement range. SSV Khartoum and SSV Luxor fired warning shots and when Coromandel returned fire, damaging Khartoum’s weapons, all four Alliance cruisers opened fire, inflicting severe damage on the Maitland frigate, which subsequently exploded, likely as a result of core damage.
The Maitland administration and Alliance issued a joint statement expressing regret for the loss of life, and entreating other independence groups to cease anti-Alliance activity. Citing the continued operation of rogue units originating from other colonies, the state of martial law in Maitland has been extended.
02/18/12 - Awards, surprises, raloi rockers close out ExByArc
The ExByArc Festival concluded last night with the Exodus Awards, based on votes by festival attendees. Kayana Fannus’ Rakhana Siha took home the prize for Best Feature Vid, with Gather winning Best Documentary and Dreaming: Concerning Flight winning for Best Short Vid. In music, Maya and the Azure Supernovas won Best Album for The Pieces Matter, with the Navigators winning Best Single for “Calling All Heroes,” and kro-core trio Solid Rawkh taking home the Best Artist prize. And in a stunning upset in Interactives, K-Wave’s ballyhooed MSelf VI lost in Best Program by less than 30 votes to PalavenData’s OmniMeld, a VI-based peer-to-peer ad hoc networking system. After the awards came the festival’s concluding concert, an all-night affair at the White Rocks Amphitheatre outside Scott. This year, the honor of closing out ExByArc went to folk-jam group Featherstar, the first raloi band to attend, who wowed the crowd with soulful folk ballads from their native Turvess and covers of everything from human spacer rock to salarian spoken-word. As the concert ended at dawn, lead singer Dazhire spoke for the assembled fans: “My friends: good bye, good morning, and see you all next year!”
February 2012 – Week Four
02/19/11 - Nos Astra police officers arrested
Seven members of Illium’s Nos Astra Police Department have been arrested, today, on charges of blackmail and misuse of police equipment. The officers, led by Captain Nifla Telheim, are accused of illegally using police surveillance equipment to spy on wealthy Nos Astra residents. Captain Telheim and her fellow officers would allegedly gather information on embarrassing or illicit activities, which they would then use as blackmail against the subjects of the surveillance. This behavior came to light after Fraga Libos, a Salarian Union citizen with a home and trade operations on Illium, was arrested on separate charges and revealed that he had been making regular payments to Telheim in return for her silence. A Nos Astra PD spokesperson told reporters that the department plans to take steps to rebuild public confidence, and said, “Rest assured, all members of the blackmail ring are in custody.”
02/19/11 - Medical essay sparks controversy
A recent essay in the Republics Journal of Medicine has sparked controversy. In the essay, Dr. Nara Talinaga argues that medical technology might soon be capable of resuscitating individuals who have been dead for months, even if they suffered massive trauma. The resulting debate on the limits of technology has proven controversial, as has a debate over the ethics of bringing someone back to life after they have been dead for an extended period. Dr. Talinaga herself notes that, “Thankfully, it is likely that we have years for discussion before the relevant advancements are made.”