The following stories contributed by Cerberus Daily News forum members were published on the CDN newsfeed during November 2011. See the main Cerberus Daily News page for current updates.
November 2011 – Week One
11/01/11 - New Hope quarantine ongoing
Officials continue to struggle with the outbreak on the New Hope colony, but have produced few answers. What was once considered a generally non-fatal strain of the influenza seems to have morphed into something different. “The strain has changed,” said Dr. Meghan Bryer. “It’s not the same. There’s something almost alien about it.” Each settlement on New Hope is under isolation, but it is reported that less than 1% of the colonists test free of the disease, with a small number of infected carrying the illness without showing symptoms. Carriers and the uninfected are being examined to determine the source of their resistance, but the attitude on Arcturus Station is that the future of the New Hope colony does not look bright.
11/02/11 - Alliance diplomats discuss mutated influenza outbreak
Alliance diplomats on the Citadel met with diplomats from the Asari Republics regarding the outbreak on the New Hope colony, today. Alliance representatives noted that it is not yet certain whether the mutated influenza has the same ability to infect asari that the original strain exhibited earlier this year. They also assured the asari that the New Hope colony is safely quarantined, and that Alliance Center for Disease Control personnel are working to solve the situation. Nevertheless, reports indicate that the Asari Republics are on edge, and are seeking to tighten disease screening procedures on the Citadel, as well as at spaceports in their own territory.
11/03/11 - Massive explosion rocks Mars
Reports from Mars have detailed an explosion not unlike a meteorite impact, with the force of 48 kilotons of TNT, at about the midpoint between Olympus mons and Ascraeus mons. No one was hurt by the ensuing shock-wave, but a few bio-dome structures were damaged in the nearby town of Peyton. Authorities are currently uncertain as to what caused the explosion, but it is suspected to have been a meteorite or comet that entered the Martian atmosphere.
11/04/11 - Police forces visit C-Sec
Representatives from thirty police forces throughout the Systems Alliance have arrived on the Citadel for a two week training and development session with C-Sec. The goal is for the representatives to learn skills and procedures that have been honed by C-Sec over the course of centuries. The session is said to be particularly useful for departments that are facing growing populations of non-humans in their home jurisdictions. “C-Sec has been dealing with multi-species enforcement for centuries,” said Captain Thomas Hurst, a representative from the New York City Police Department. “They have valuable lessons to teach.”
11/05/11 - Explosion on Mars discovered to be dreadnought round
Startling news from Mars, today, where investigators have come to the conclusion that the recent explosion there was produced by a round from the main gun of a dreadnought. Alliance investigators are questioning representatives of the other major powers, who are all claiming no knowledge of any discharges from their respective dreadnoughts. This has raised fears that a rogue party may have constructed one of these weapons of mass destruction.
November 2011 – Week Two
11/06/11 - Salarian soldiers killed
The salarian government reports that 8 STG trainees have been killed in an accident. The trainees, all experienced Salarian Union military operatives who were seeking to join the STG program, were attempting to land on a remote moon, for a simulated rapid assault on a zero atmosphere world. While on approach to the moon, however, the shuttle carrying the trainees lost control, and crashed into the surface. No shuttle passengers survived the crash, and salarian investigators have reportedly begun an investigation into the accident’s cause.
11/07/11 - Officials track origins of virus mutation
As the death toll on the New Hope colony continues to mount, Alliance officials report that they have finally tracked the origins of the mutated influenza. According to researchers, the virus began when the influenza strain that spread throughout the Alliance earlier this year mutated with a New Hope virus that primarily infects native wildlife. Scientists are stunned by this revelation. “We shouldn’t see Earth illnesses interacting with non-Earth illnesses this way,” said Dr. Meghan Bryer. “But the influenza strain this came from always was tricky. It was the only known strain to also infect asari.”
11/08/11 - Shuttle accident caused by VI error
The Salarian Union reports that the deaths of 8 STG trainees were caused by a shuttle VI processing error. The news has caused turmoil within the Citadel defense establishment, as the salarian military has grounded its entire fleet of Sur’Karha class light assault shuttles. “Each Sur’Karha assault shuttle has the same design as the one that killed our trainees,” said a Salarian Union representative. “Each also has the same VI program. We are continuing to investigate this matter, but until we have a better idea of what risks they might pose, our Sur’Karha class shuttles are grounded.” The Council reports that human, asari, and turian forces are being asked to fill in for critical missions the salarians are temporarily incapable of performing.
The source of last week’s explosion on Mars has been discovered. Scientists mapped the trajectory of the round to the Jayle system in the Attican Traverse, and have discovered the remnants of a battle between two extinct races. One of the derelict ships was a close approximation to an Everest class dreadnought. Early speculation is that the dreadnought’s targeting computer may have been damaged, and gave the wrong targeting solution for its weapon. To quote Investigator James Hewitt: “Mars was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
11/10/11 - New Hope quarantine breached
The quarantine of the New Hope colony was briefly breached today, when a group of freelance mercenaries who had been trapped on the colony led an uprising. The mercs, working with several colonists, killed four Alliance guards and hijacked an Alliance Center for Disease Control freighter that was offloading supplies. The freighter made orbit, but was destroyed by the SSV Gettysburg when it refused orders to return to the planet. The Gettysburg reports that they have found no survivors from the freighter, and the Alliance has stressed that no infected individuals made it out of the system.
11/11/11 - Former slaver killed on Omega
Tonnis Gorek, a former batarian slaver who is wanted in Citadel Space, was killed on Omega today. Gorek became notorious in the late 2170s for leading a series of increasingly daring raids on Alliance colonies. Nearly his entire crew was killed during a failed raid on the Alliance colony on Xanti, an incident that forced him out of the slaving business. Gorek, who is said to have developed gambling and substance abuse problems, was gunned down by three unidentified assailants while walking out of Omega’s Afterlife nightclub. It is not known who was behind the attack, but the ex-slaver is said to have a long list of enemies.
11/12/11 - Salarian shuttles undergo VI reprogramming
The Salarian Union has determined that all of its Sur’Karha class light assault shuttles suffer a VI processing error that creates a small risk of them veering out of control while on planetary approach. The error has been blamed on Jaeto based Sordarra Industries, the company that programmed the VIs for all of the Union’s Sur’Karha assault shuttles. Sordarra has announced that they are providing a patch to repair the error, and it is expected that all Sur’Karha assault shuttles will be operational by the end of next week. Several relatives of the STG trainees killed in the initial accident, meanwhile, are said to be considering legal action against Sordarra. “It’s one thing to lose a brother in combat,” said one. “It’s another to lose a brother to a reckless programming error.”
November 2011 – Week Three
11/13/11 - Pyjacks end reunion tour
The Screaming Pyjacks officially ended their reunion tour with a concert on Jaeto. The group played most of their top hits, plus the four new songs that they’ve written since going on tour. The event was notable, however, for the announcement made prior to the band’s final song: The Pyjacks will not be reuniting permanently. “We had fun this time around, and we thought about it,” said Vorenus Malenuu. “But we’ve decided not to. We love all of you, but too much time has passed. Too many of us have moved on.” The band concluded the concert by playing Illium Sunset, which was also the band’s final song at its final concert twenty years ago. Fans were stunned. “I was convinced they were getting back together,” said Altor Ordus. “This is devastating. It’s like hearing about them breaking up all over again.”
11/14/11 - New Hope virus kills asari
Reports from the New Hope colony indicate that the mutated influenza strain there is capable of spreading to asari. The Alliance Center for Disease Control reports that one of their asari consultants suffered an isolation suit breach during a recent mercenary led uprising. The asari contracted the illness, and was dead within a matter of hours. “It started out just like the flu from earlier this year,” said Dr. Meghan Bryer. “She lost her biotics, and she had normal, flu like symptoms. But things went downhill fast. Within a day, her skin turned from blue to gray, and she was vomiting blood. Within two days, she was dead.” Bryer noted that this particular strain seems to kill asari faster than humans, a fact she described as “curious.”
11/15/11 - General criticized for New Hope comments
General Partus Nelvus is under fire today, for comments he made about the quarantined human colony of New Hope. In a speech to members of the turian armed forces, General Nelvus said that disease control personnel should be evacuated, and New Hope’s settlements and environment destroyed via orbital bombardment. Response has been harsh, but Nelvus, who has an asari wife and daughters, seemed to anticipate the criticism. “Some will undoubtedly call me a monster,” he said. “But is my proposal any different than destroying the freighter that tried to escape? We have an obligation to protect the galaxy from a fatal outbreak. My wife and daughters deserve safety.”
11/16/11 - Galaxy-spanning radio telescope nears completion
Over one hundred years in the making, the Astoundingly Long Baseline Interferometer (ALBI) is about to see first light. The much criticized, repeatedly delayed, and over-budget joint asari-salarian observatory is set to tune into radio waves from distant galaxies next week. The largest telescope in our galaxy, ALBI is not really a single facility, but rather several disparate radio telescope arrays scattered on planets throughout the galactic disk. ALBI works by routing simultaneous data streams from these separate arrays through extranet buoys, and joining them at the Citadel within a giant computer cluster known as the Correlator. In this manner, ALBI can produce maps that are a trillion times more detailed and sensitive than similar efforts limited to telescopes on individual planets (known as VLBI, or Very Long Baseline Interferometrs).
11/17/11 - Citadel alert a false alarm
C-Sec is working today to explain an automated bio-terror alert that was erroneously issued early this morning. The alert was triggered at 2 AM [Citadel standard time], and reported that biotoxins had been released on the Presidium. C-Sec bioterrorism response teams reported to the location, in full biohazard gear, only to find no trace of the reported biotoxins. C-Sec has assured alarmed residents that no attack took place, and that no deaths or illnesses have been reported. Meanwhile, technicians have stated that the alarm was caused by a “faulty biotoxin detector unit” on the Presidium, which they say has been replaced.
11/18/11 - SEGI to piggy-back on galaxy’s largest telescope
The Search for Extragalactic Intelligence (SEGI) Institute, a controversial multi-species Citadel body composed of otherwise respected astrophysicists, engineers, and their students, will make use of the largest telescope in the galaxy, the ALBI observatory. “We will examine all incoming ALBI data for serendipitous evidence of sentient life in other galaxies,” said project head Dr. Valin Banos. “If there is life in our galaxy, it stands to reason that other galaxies, such as nearby Andromeda, should house sentient life as well. If so, there’s a roughly 30% chance we will be able to pick up their radio signatures with the trillion-fold reception improvements that ALBI offers over other planetary and space telescopes.”
11/19/11 - Alliance minister scoffs at search for extragalactic intelligence
Systems Alliance Deputy Minister of Defense Clara Hayes recently criticized the fact that the galaxy’s largest telescope, the ALBI array, will support the Search for Extragalactic Intelligence (SEGI). “With all the cost overruns that necessitated cuts or delays in dreadnought construction for the asari and salarians, you would think that the ALBI array would be used for serious science, not some pie-in-the-sky dream of extragalactic life. Even if we found life in Andromeda, what good would it do us? There are no mass relays that lead there, and it would take literally a million years to send signals back and forth by ordinary means.” In response, SEGI head Dr. Valin Banos responded that SEGI would not be taking any data of its own, but analyzing other observations for serendipitous signals, and thus offers “a totally cost-free boon.”
11/20/11 - Freighter investigation to close
The governments investigating the Deep Space Prince have announced that their joint investigation is about to close. Despite conducting an intense analysis of the ship, no evidence has emerged as to where the ship traveled, or what happened to its crew. Family members reacted with dismay to the announcement, but one Alliance official said, “We were getting nowhere, and you can only spend so much time and money on one investigation. We’d all like to know what happened to the Prince’s crew, but let’s face reality – They were probably just abducted by slavers. Freighter crews disappear all the time, so where’s the sense in letting this particular investigation drag on?”
November 2011 – Week Four
11/21/11 - Deep Space Prince moved to storage
The disassembled pieces of the Deep Space Prince were moved into storage on the Citadel today, minus twelve small items that have not been recovered after being illegally sold. The governments conducting the investigation issued a joint statement in which they noted that storage on the Citadel will allow access for any of the governments should new information arise. The Prince, meanwhile, seems to have developed an intense following on extranet conspiracy boards. “This is one of the biggest mysteries in centuries. It’s like the disappearance of Amelia Earhart on Earth, or Matriarch Esuna on Thessia,” said conspiracy debunker Paul Sidwell. “The conspiracy nuts will probably never let this go.”
11/22/11 - ALBI telescope sees extragalactic life on first try
At a crowded and exuberant press conference on the Citadel, Dr. Valin Banos dramatically announced “possible” evidence of life in the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy. Playing an audio recording that sounded like deep humming, he said, “The first-light observation of the galaxy’s largest telescope, ALBI, was of course Andromeda, our main calibration source. Buried in the correlator data, we found this tantalizing signal with a period second derivative exactly equal to the frequency of the 21cm hydrogen line.” According to Dr. Banos, no non-sentient source could produce this type of regularity “at the 90% confidence level.” Asari Physical Society president Na’ali Vasir remained cautious, saying she would withhold acceptance until “all plausible statistical tests” have been run on the signal.
11/23/11 - Alliance to send delegation to Biotic Games
The Systems Alliance will soon send its first ever delegation to the Biotic Games, when they open on the asari world of Tiala. A series of biotic sporting events held once every one hundred years, the games were originally a way for pre-space flight asari “city states” to pit their best biotic athletes against each other, but have long since been opened to non-asari participants. Initial competitions for non-team sports are held within each individual delegation. Top competitors for each delegation go on to participate against each other in successive rounds, with the final round determining the honorary title of “Shi’Tala,” which loosely translates to “Master Among Victors.” Initial rounds for team sports, meanwhile, are between teams from competing delegations, but judged based on the effectiveness of individual players, with the “best” players from each winning team being picked for multi-species “unity teams” that compete in the next round of games.
11/24/11 - Museum exhibit to examine the automobile
Representatives from the Systems Alliance will be present at the Presidium Museum of Culture tomorrow for the unveiling of a new exhibit on human history. Titled “The Automobile,” the exhibit will detail the human relationship with ground cars that dominated travel in many areas of Earth prior to humanity’s discovery of element zero. Key topics of the exhibit will include the invention, development, and evolution of human automobiles, and how they changed human culture, cities, politics, and business. Additional space will be devoted to the long and short term impacts that petroleum based travel had on Earth’s environment and human health. The exhibit will include a range of painstakingly preserved automobile parts and memorabilia, including a perfectly preserved 1967 corvette.
11/25/11 - Valin Banos withdraws claims of extragalactic life
Dejected and apologetic, Dr. Valin Banos called a press conference today to withdraw his claim that the Search for Extragalactic Intelligence (SEGI) project has found evidence of life in Andromeda. “As we built deeper and deeper spectra of the signal, it became immediately clear that the source of the signal was not Andromeda itself, but something between Andromeda and our galaxy. Since we are fairly certain no life can exist in the dark and empty space between galaxies, a natural, astrophysical phenomenon must be responsible for the signal.” Cheering up, he continued, “Our best guess in fact, is that this is a dark matter decay signal, potentially offering a powerful test of the latest models of our galaxy’s dark matter halo.”
11/26/11 - New Hope colony nearly destroyed
Nearly the entire population of the New Hope colony is dead. Representatives from the Alliance Center for Disease Control report that they were unable to stop a virus that has proven to be nearly 100% fatal. Just over 1% of the colony’s pre-virus population is alive, nearly 75% of which is carrying the virus without suffering symptoms. New Hope remains under quarantine, and officials on Arcturus report that civilian traffic will likely be prohibited for the foreseeable future. “The few surviving colonists will not be released from quarantine anytime soon,” said one official. “They’re now professional medical subjects.”
November 2011 – Week Five
11/27/11 - Biotic Games open on Tiala
The Biotic Games opened on Tiala, today, with the traditional “unity ceremony.” This year’s unity ceremony included special celebrations to signify the fact that humans are competing in the games for the first time ever, with Matriarch T’Darra, a former competitor and five time winner of Shi’Tala status in three seperate styles of biotic martial arts, making a special trip from Thessia to speak at the ceremony and greet the athletes. The opening was marred only by a statement from the Batarian Hegemony, which is boycotting the games in protest over recent decisions on turian dreadnaught construction. In the statement, the Hegemony blasted the games for “promoting counter hegemonist ideology.”
11/28/11 - Competitions begin at Biotic Games
First round competitions began at the Biotic Games, today. In the Systems Alliance biotic diving competition, Zhao Chi of Earth, Agneta Marszal of Earth, Sara Storm of Demeter, and Enrique Gutierrez of Terra Nova won the right to proceed to intermediary competitions. The talk of the galaxy, however, is skyball, where the competition between the turians and the salarians unexpectedly went down to the wire. The turians had been expected to field an excellent team this year, only to face an unexpectedly fierce challenge from a team of relative salarian amateurs. In the end, the salarians scored a narrow, upset victory, when Tannadan Rizus tripped and lost control of his biotic field. Fans throughout the Hierarchy are crushed, with one sports commentator saying “this team looks like the biggest letdown in sports since the 2169 clawball season was cancelled by a player strike.”
11/29/11 - Xenobiological mystery solved
The evolutionary origin of the kingdom erkolana on the garden world Hentara has finally been solved. The kingdom, which constitutes about 3,400 species, seemed to appear out of nowhere, with the earliest record of its appearance occurring about 30,000 Hentaran years ago. The kingdom’s DNA, meanwhile, matches none of the other native species on the planet, a fact that has puzzled experts for centuries. However, DNA samples taken from the native species on the recently discovered garden world of Aphrodite show similarities to Hentara’s erkolana kingdom. “It would seem that some ancient alien race deposited a number of native Aphroditian species on Hentara, in what we can only assume was a long term science experiment,” says chief scientist Helen Romanova, “It is fascinating to see how the original species has changed after being transplanted from Aphrodite to Hentara.”
11/30/11 - Questions raised about Bekenstein courthouse
An anonymous e-book entitled Through the Looking Glass: The Twisted Reality of Milgrom’s Broken Justice System has leveled serious charges against the Milgrom County Courthouse, on Bekenstein. The author, who claims to be a retired judicial official, alleges that official agreements will sometimes mysteriously change after being sent to the courthouse clerk’s office, that court transcripts are often tampered with, or vanish altogether, and that Milgrom judges habitually accept bribes and engage in inappropriate relationships with local lawyers. A spokesperson from the courthouse denied the claims, but Alliance authorities are said to be considering an investigation. [via Alliance Beacon]