The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during July 2011. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
July 2011 - Week One
07/01/11 - Colonial League launches controversial new ad campaign
A new advertising campaign by the Alliance’s colonies is attracting attention in more ways than one. The ads are made by the Colonial League, a group of established Alliance colonies promoting trade and immigration. Under the slogan “Declare Your Independence,” the ads use news holovids to contrast Earth with the colonies, drawing attention to the colonies’ low unemployment, economic growth, high quality of life, safe environments, and available space for housing and farming.
The ads premiered on planetwide news and entertainment vids and holobillboards in 500 major cities amid protests by local Earth governments, with some cities banning the advertisements from public transportation. Many locals were outraged by the ads as well. Said one London resident, “Yes, we’ve got riots, crime, and man-made disasters on Earth. But these ads are dishonest, they’re overstatements of Earth’s problems.” Others defended the advertisements, with one commenter from Liverpool writing, “These ads work because there’s truth in them. I doubt colony life is so easy, but Earth has so many problems, can we blame people for wanting to leave?”
[Via BBC Galactic Service]
July 2011 – Week Two
07/03/11 - Trident pilot stops slaver attack
Fredrick “Fritz” Gallin, a fighter pilot with the Trident Defense Force, has gained galactic attention today. Gallin was part of a fighter wing that battled an attempted slaver raid. Most of Gallin’s squad was destroyed, but rather than retreating, the pilot engaged in a series of maneuvers that caused two slaver frigates to collide with each other. The collision slowed invading forces long enough for reinforcements to arrive. It is expected that Gallin will receive one of Trident’s highest military awards.
07/05/11 - Chamber contains Kal’Alite DNA
The team examining the Kal’Ala IV DNA chamber has made a startling discovery: The chamber contains not only thousands of samples from plants and animals, but also DNA from the Kal’Alites themselves. Examination has discovered nearly 4000 unique Kal’Alite DNA samples, each of which is perfectly preserved.
In a statement, Dr. Telea N’Vir said that the find has caused the team to reevaluate their theory on the chamber. “We still think that the plants and animals were likely intended for terraforming,” Dr. N’Vir said. “But the Kal’Alite DNA indicates that they may have also intended the chamber to guarantee the survival of their own species. Perhaps by cloning prominent artists, scientists, and thinkers who were unable to leave their homeworld.”
07/06/11 - “Declare Your Independence” campaign draws fire from Earth leaders
The Colonial League’s new “Declare Your Independence” campaign was the target of heated attacks around Earth today. In the Chinese People’s Federation, government officials pulled the ads from all public broadcasting and public areas, claiming that the ads’ tagline is an incitement to rebellion by Earth’s colonies, many of which were built with Chinese funds. These sentiments were echoed by UNAS Defense Secretary Dominic Howell. Meanwhile, European Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Celine Leroux denounced the advertisements as “misleading,” saying that the ads did not mention the dangers faced by Alliance colonists from slavers, pirates, and other groups who have been attacking human colonies with increasing frequency. She advised all EU citizens to be wary of settling on colonies outside of the Solar system, given the “precarious” state of the Alliance Navy and the “known inadequacies” of colonial defenses. Minister Leroux also noted that colonial emigration appeared to be increasingly popular among EU citizens as a way to hide income from Earth taxation.
[Via BBC Galactic Service]
07/07/11 - Court rules on alien protections
In a landmark decision, the Alliance Supreme Court has struck down a Shanxi law for violating the rights of non-humans. Arguing that non-humans lack protection from the Alliance Constitution, Shanxi allowed local authorities to conduct warrantless searches of the homes, vehicles, and property of all aliens. The lawsuit was brought by an asari agricultural consultant, after local authorities conducted warrantless searches of her apartment eight times over the course of two months. In the decision, the majority stated that the Alliance Constitution “protects sapient rights, not just human rights.” Civil liberties groups are celebrating the decision, while anti-alien groups claim it has created a risk to Alliance national security.
[via Alliance Beacon]
07/08/11 - Influenza cases still reported
Although the Citadel has not reported a new case of influenza since April, the Systems Alliance Center for Disease Control reports scattered cases of the strain that spread throughout the Alliance and to the Citadel earlier this year. “There are a few nations on Earth, as well as a handful of colonies, that are suffering isolated cases,” said Dr. Meghan Bryer. “We’ve assembled a list of affected locations on our extranet site. Although there have been few fatalities from this strain, we encourage any humans or asari traveling to those locations to take appropriate precautions.”
July 2011 – Week Three
07/10/11 - Colonial League responds to Earth critics
Colonial League President Savion Hunter appeared via holo from Demeter on BBC Morning today, as the League fired back at its critics in the ongoing row over its “Declare Your Independence” ad campaign. Responding to governments who accused the League of whitewashing the dangers faced by colonists, Hunter responded “The Colonial League isn’t a bunch of wildcat colonies out in the Terminus, we’re the oldest, safest, and most established ex-solar colonies, we’re all loyal to the Alliance and all under the Alliance’s protection.”
Hunter also countered accusations that the ads painted a misleading portrait of colonial life, saying that Earth was similarly using bad news about the colonies to promote its own agenda. “Everyone with a stake in keeping humans on Earth latched onto stories like the geth attack on Eden Prime or the attack on Elysium – they’re trying to scare people into staying. Without humans on Earth, who’s going to buy all their consumer products, take out new lines of credit, be entertained by their mindless media? Who’s going to pay the exorbitant taxes that fund the pet projects of politicians? Who’s going to be subjected to all the new regulations Earth’s bureaucrats dream up? Earth used to have a monopoly on livable space for humans. Now it doesn’t. We’re just showing Earth’s people what Earth’s leaders don’t want them to see!”
07/11/11 - Son of two diplomats arrested
Gahl Jackson, the adopted batarian son of human diplomat Gary Jackson and asari diplomat Liena Syrinus, has been arrested by C-Sec for espionage. C-Sec agents pulled the youth out of his classes at a Presidium private school this morning.
Gary Jackson and Liena Syrinus, both employees at their respective embassies, adopted Gahl Jackson from a Tayseri Ward orphanage in 2179. The now 17 year old Gahl is an honor student, but is described by his classmates as a quiet loner. C-Sec has stated that more information on the charges will be released soon.
07/13/11 - Kal’Alite DNA sparks ethical controversy
The recently discovered Kal’Alite DNA has sparked controversy within Citadel Space, as a group of scientists have begun to advocate the cloning of new Kal’Alites. Dr. Izza Chorlan of the Mannovai Institute recently said to reporters, “The discovered DNA represents major chance for new scientific discovery. Chance to recreate and observe race thought extinct. It would be foolish to pass on the opportunity.”
Others have expressed doubt. Dr. Kenneth Albright, with Lowell City College, said, “There are major ethical considerations here. We’d be recreating a lost species, yes, but they would be thrust into an uncertain status, with a complete lack of knowledge about their own history and culture. I’m not sure that’s a very smart idea.”
07/15/11 - United Nations proposes new tax on emigrants to colonies
Long-standing tensions between Earth and the Colonies spilled over onto the floor of the United Nations building in New York City today, when a group of industrialized nations led by members of the European Union, the Chinese People’s Federation, and the United North American States proposed a treaty that would lay a heavy tax on all emigrants from Earth to the Colonies. Under the proposal, any Earth citizen seeking to emigrate to the Colonies would be required to sell all of their real estate on Earth, and then pay a 50% surtax upon departure from Earth on both the proceeds from such sales and on any savings they bring with them over C100,000 credits. CPF ambassador Li Fang, the principal sponsor of the proposal, said that the tax was a justified response to the colonies’ attempts at “inciting sedition and rebellion, particularly through their recent deceptive advertising campaign. Earth is the parent of humanity, and if the children on her colonies think they can steal our citizens and their wealth away from us with lies and half-truths, they are gravely mistaken.”
[Via BBC Galactic Service]
07/16/11 - Charges against Gahl Jackson released
C-Sec has detailed the charges that it is filing against Gahl Jackson. The youth is being accused of repeatedly accessing his parents’ personal databases, and passing along sensitive files from the human and asari offices on the Citadel to the Batarian Hegemony.
Compromised files reportedly include negotiations between the salarians and the asari for increased cooperation in weapons research, as well as recent Council sponsored discussions between turians and humans regarding the Treaty of Farixen. Lawyers for Gahl Jackson denied the charges.
July 2011 – Week Four
07/17/11 - Financial crisis strikes virtual world
The Galaxy of Fantasy community was shocked yesterday when the player-run economy was completely wiped out by the systematic eradication of the largest guild on Dacia server, ‘The Legion of Black Roots.’ The Legion of Black Roots were the prime source of many in-game crafted items, using the in-game currency gathered from selling their wares to other players to finance large-scale raids and guild wars with rival groups. Sources within the MMORPG’s maintenance and game master staff state that a server-wide infiltration and takeover of all of the Legion’s command and leadership positions by one such rival guild was perpetrated over the course of the last standard year. This subsequently led to the guild’s complete destruction during a surprise attack against all of the Black Roots’ holdings on the server. With the main source of many crafted items having been destroyed, the in-game economy quickly crashed, and many shortages of everything from expendable armor parts to manufactured weapons have been reported. Other guilds, long since outstripped by the Black Roots, have been trying to fill the gap, but the attack was devastating enough to the in-game economy that the GM staff may be forced to take action.
[via Citadel Holo-Entertainment Daily]
07/10/11 - Council rules on Kal’Alite cloning
The Citadel Council has ruled that Kal’Alite cloning should not take place immediately, but that the Kal’Alite DNA should be preserved at a Council run facility for possible future cloning. A Council spokesperson said, “Laboratory cloning of plant and animal life from the Kal’Alites’ homeworld will be allowed, but, right now, we just don’t know enough to feel comfortable cloning the Kal’Alites themselves.”
Neither side in the ethical debate seems satisfied with this outcome. Dr. Izza Chorlan said the Council “ducked issue at hand,” and Dr. Kenneth Albright said that the Council “is putting future generations at risk by not setting clear standards.” Biotech companies such as Binary Helix, meanwhile, have expressed anticipation for experimenting with extinct plant and animal life from the Kal’Alites’ homeworld.
07/20/11 - Colonies promise lawsuit over new emigration tax
The Colonial League responded to a proposed surtax on emigrants from Earth with threats of a lawsuit. Colonial League President Savion Hunter was joined by representatives from the 14 colonies who formed the league at a press conference on Arcturus Station yesterday. Hunter accused Earth’s governments of “naked, shameless protectionism that will not stand up in an Alliance Court.” In a white paper released at the conference, League lawyers argue that the proposed tax violates the Alliance Charter, which guarantees a right to free and unrestricted travel and migration within the Alliance, and forbids Earth or Colonial government from regulating interstate or intergalactic commerce. If the suit was successful, the Alliance would face the task of forcing Earth’s governments to repeal local laws, a power which the Alliance has not invoked in 20 years. Lawyers for the Earth governments who proposed the tax refused to comment on the League’s threatened lawsuit.
[Via BBC Galactic Service]
07/17/11 - Institute Solicits Views on Future
What will the next 200 years be like? The Tanala Institute for Science and Technology has solicited predictions from the galaxy’s leading scientists, futurists, and science fiction authors on what the next two centuries will bring. Their responses have been posted on the Tanala Institute’s extranet page, where the general public can also post their own views on what life will be like by 2386. According to Inoste Surris, a representative of the Institute, “People sometimes dismiss this kind of forward thinking as ‘fantasy,’ but we feel it’s important. It can be hard for many of us non-asari to grasp, but sometimes you need to visualize a future if you want it to happen.”
07/22/11 - A.I. Advocates Hold Conference
Several groups promoting equal rights for A.I.s have assembled in Armstrong, for what has been dubbed the “Luna Conference.” The intent is for advocates to network, develop common goals, and consider how their organizations can better coordinate efforts. Several attendees have noted that the geth attack was a major setback for synthetic rights. However, all seem committed to continuing their efforts. “It’s about basic fairness and equality,” said Din Tomar, an attendee. “Earth clan, Vol clan, whatever… it’s about getting our people to recognize that synthetics are sentients who deserve the same rights we have.”
07/23/11 - Band Kicks off Reunion Tour
The Screaming Pyjacks kicked off a 10 planet reunion tour last evening, with a concert at the Nos Astra Performing Arts Complex, on Illium. The concert was a smash success, with the audience going wild when the Pyjacks performed “Flower of Tuchanka” for the first time since breaking up in 2166. The band insists that the reunion is temporary, but fans on Illium wanted them to reconsider: Throughout the evening, members of the audience chanted for a permanent comeback. “The Screaming Pyjacks are the best band I’ve ever heard,” said Telea Delear, an asari youth. “Even after 20 years, they’re all I listen to.”
July 2011 – Week Five
07/24/11 - Human Author Found Dead
Sagar Hawkins, author of several e-novels, was found dead today in his New York City apartment. Hawkins, 54, was notable for becoming one of the first human authors of fiction to gain popularity outside of Alliance space. He had announced late last year that he was writing the third novel in his Trials and Hope series, which tells the story of a female human marine and a male turian soldier who fight each other in the First Contact War, meet after the war, fall in love, and endure the prejudices of their own races. The novel is reportedly unfinished. Emma Salino, Hawkins wife, is expected to return to Earth from her assignment with the Alliance marines to handle her late husband’s affairs.
[via Alliance Beacon]
07/25/11 - Elkoss Combine Recalls Submachine Guns
Elkoss Combine has announced that they are recalling a batch of M-4 Shuriken Machine Pistols. The recall follows complaints that some M-4s have been suffering from frequent thermal clip jams, as well as reports that a small number have exploded when fired. In a statement, an Elkoss Combine representative admitted to the problems, and noted that M-4 Shuriken Machine Pistols with the serial numbers MFA-003567 through MFA-087796 “should be returned to a licensed Elkoss dealer.” According to the representative, “Due to a manufacturing error, a very small number of Shurikens are not adequately functional. We regret this development, and are offering a 25% discount on a future Elkoss Combine purchase for anyone who has been inconvenienced.”
07/26/11 - Ward Councilors Arrested
In what has been described as a major blow against political corruption, seven members of the Bachjret Ward Council have been arrested in separate C-Sec stings. Charges against the politicians range widely, from allegations of involvement in illegal weapons smuggling, to an arrest for nearly eight thousand credits worth of unpaid aircar tickets. The arrests have renewed calls for political reforms within the wards, with one Bachjret official pushing a proposal that includes mandatory financial disclosures, background checks, and ethics training for all elected officials.
07/27/11 - Author Died from Red Sand Overdose
Emma Salino announced today that Sagar Hawkins’ death was caused by a Red Sand overdose. It was not publicly known that her husband was struggling from a Red Sand addiction. Upon returning to Earth from her military post on Eden Prime, Ms. Salino discussed the matter with New York City authorities, and opted to make an announcement before word leaked out. In a statement to the press, Salino, an L2 biotic, told reporters, “Sagar loved me, and wanted to understand what it’s like to be a biotic. He began using Red Sand for that reason. Then we couldn’t get him to stop. His friends and I… we tried so hard to get him to stop.”
[via Alliance Beacon]
07/28/11 - Survey indicates more vacationing on Omega
The University of Serrice’s annual vacation and leisure time survey indicates that Omega is increasing in popularity as a vacation destination for Citadel Space residents. Although the station is a destination for only a minority of respondents, that number has been growing consistently over the course of several years. When queried on their decisions, Omega’s lawlessness seems to be a selling point for many. According to one respondent, “You can buy anything there. Do anything. It’s even less restrictive than Illium.” C-Space law enforcement agencies, meanwhile, warn against travel to Omega, with C-Sec noting that Omega “places travelers outside the protection of the Council, and C-Space governments.”
07/29/11 - Film criticized for portrayal of Torfan
Davin Kieffer is drawing criticism for his new film, Battle for the Verge. The four hour historical docudrama covers the Skyllian Blitz and the Alliance response at Torfan. However, it has angered some veterans over what they claim is an excessive focus on alleged brutality at Torfan, as well as the psychological impact of the battle on Alliance troops. Said Meredith Gromley, a Torfan veteran, “The film chooses to ignore the strategic success at Torfan and instead portrays Alliance veterans as mentally troubled butchers. It’s garbage, and it’s disgraceful.” The criticism does not seem to have hurt ticket sales, as Battle for the Verge has surged to the top spot at the box office.
07/30/11 - Scientists to study unstable world
Erana University is funding a four year study of Ekara, the third planet in the PNF-86753 system. A garden world, Ekara was viewed as a likely candidate for colonization. However, Council sponsored negotiations for colonization rights collapsed when it was determined that the planet suffers from an unusual level of seismic instability. The university announced their decision to fund the study late yesterday afternoon, and is in the process of assembling a team of experts. Several scientists have expressed interest in serving on the team, with one saying, “I’ve been curious about Ekara for years. We don’t normally see that much seismic instability on a garden world. Finding out why Ekara is so unique is the opportunity of a lifetime.”
July 2011 – Week Six
07/31/11 - Filmmaker defends movie
Davin Kieffer defended Battle for the Verge from criticism today, claiming that his film is not unfair. “Battle for the Verge spends a great deal of time examining the brutality of enemy forces during the Skyllian Blitz,” Kieffer said. “However, the brutality of Torfan, and that brutality’s long term psychological impact on our own troops, are also important aspects of this story.” Kieffer’s defense has not silenced his critics, and protests have been reported outside some theaters showing the movie. However, other veterans have defended the film. “It was accurate. I couldn’t sit through everything, but it was accurate,” said Anton Lustin, a retired Marine. “And the scenes about after we came home… They’re true too. I have nightmares. I have flashbacks. Just like in the movie.”