Note: in light of information on potential Mass Effect 3 DLC, CDN's moderators have elected to make this retrospective non-canon. Until further notice, none of the information here should be regarded as factual in CDN's current setting.
The Beast Problem is one of the retrospective articles prepared by CDN members to illustrate the events and changes that occurred during the year following the Reaper War.
Unlike most Retrospective articles, the contents of this one are not known to the general public (including CDN characters).
The Beast Problem
Excerpt from the official transcription of the fourth convening of the Rannoch Conclave, Hall of Admirals, Sclifosi, Rannoch
[This document has been partially redacted by the Bureau of Rannoch Internal Security to protect state-sensitive data and other classified materials.]
Provisional Admiral Shala’Raan, Sector Five (Moderator): The motion carries. Is there further business? [pause] The Admiralty grants Rep. Kan the floor.
Representative Tarro’Kan, Sector Two: Thank you, Admiral. With the [content excised] question resolved for the moment, it is vital that we turn our attention to the Beast That Gnaws At The Roots Of The Garden.
Adm. Raan: Accepted. Let the record show that discussion has been opened regarding the Beast. What say you, Rep. Kan?
Rep. Kan: Today’s report from the diplomatic corps suggests mounting pressure from the Salarian Union and the Turian Hierarchy to either eliminate the Beast or establish a no-travel zone to restrict his activities. They’re estimating several hundred millions of shipping losses and may start refusing to travel near the Far Rim if their concerns aren’t addressed. BRIS has been forwarded the appropriate data, but Conclave support is, of course, required if they’re to take action.
Adm. Raan: If piracy is such a concern for their shipping, why haven’t they removed the Beast themselves?
Provisional Admiral Zaal’Koris, Sector Three: It is a conciliatory gesture towards us. They afford Rannoch the sovereignty to self-police.
Rep. Kan: They’ve recently tried. He’s...well, he has dreadnoughts. Plural. We’ve all seen the tireless nature of geth manufacturing. The Beast’s armada is comparable to any expeditionary force out in that region.
Adm. Koris: [pause] Ah.
Adm. Raan: The Admiralty recognizes Rep. Logos.
Representative Logos, Sector Seven: The gestalt unit designated ‘Beast That Gnaws At The Roots Of The Garden’ has already caused quantifiable morale loss to organic expeditions. An approximate thirty-one point seven two two percent of the charted Far Rim cluster is currently considered Nemean space according to travel advisories, up from zero percent at this time last year.
Provisional Admiral Daro’Xen, Sector Two: We can plainly see from the Rannoch geth that the consensus isn’t fighting a war anymore. The Beast is part of the consensus, so the question remains: why has it turned to piracy?
Rep. Logos: Creator-Admiral Xen, the consensus--
Provisional Admiral Han’Gerrel, Sector Two: It’s the long con. We stood down from destroying their fleet, we allowed them into our homeworld, into our suits, and in return the consensus allows this butchery in our territory.
Admiral Quorum, Sector One: That supposition is demonstrably incorrect, Creator-Admiral Gerrel.
Adm. Gerrel: Of course the geth leaps to defend the consensus. I told you, when in its naivete this Conclave passed the Representation Acts, that this was the first step to putting ourselves under those machines’ yoke. And now a synthetic has made the Admiralty illegitimate.
Adm. Raan: Please try to demonstrate civility in your disagreements, Admirals.
Adm. Quorum: That supposition is also demonstrably incorrect. My fellow platforms and I were elected based on democratic majority vote by the Rannoch populace.
Adm. Gerrel: Which is over seventy-five percent geth! They can pass anything they want in a general referendum - do you seriously think they’ll stop there? No, the Admiralty is next, mark my words.
Adm. Quorum: That supposition is also demonstrably incorrect. The consensus will support candidates with the most rational, communally-beneficial policies. If you consider a Creator majority in the Conclave to be an optimal outcome, Creators should begin adopting those policies.
Adm. Raan: Order, please! Rep. Logos, please continue.
Rep. Logos: Although the consensus endures, the sacrifice of Legion-Savior reformatted geth programs to allow self-determination and individuality subroutines. Like the rest of the geth, including myself, my fellow representatives, and Admiral-Platform Quorum, the Beast has determined a future for himself. Unlike the rest of the geth, it is independent of the consensus and involves the forcible acquisition of material wealth at the expense of other sapients. I cannot offer further insight on his conclusion was reached, due to lack of data regarding his behavioral runtimes.
Adm. Koris: Do you have any means of talking him down? Negotiating, geth-to-geth?
Adm. Quorum: That outcome is [pause] uncertain. Without establishing contact and assessing the Beast program’s logical processes, we cannot accurately predict a diplomatic outcome.
Rep. Kan: Respectfully, Admiral, that may take more time than we have. As Rep. Logos observed, there are entire portions of the Rim and Veil that are simply being abandoned to the Abyss because no one will risk patrolling them. If we’re going to have BRIS and the geth armada act, we should do it before the Beast becomes the only thing resembling an authority in those territories. Already there are reports of organics joining up with him, offering him protection payments: slavers, Tuchankan mining colonies, soldiers of fortune...
Adm. Gerrel: They’ll be integrating geth technology into themselves before long. What cold comfort, to know that Xen’s insanity is spreading to the rest of the galaxy.
Adm. Koris: Oh, should we throw our lot in with you again, Han? You’re not content with millions of dead quarians on your hands already?
Adm. Raan: Order, please.
Adm. Gerrel: I’d rather see us dead to the last man than enslaved and merged with those machines. You’ve seen what Special Projects is doing, Koris, and [content excised]
Adm. Xen: The geth are the future, Admiral Gerrel. A future that I suspect you’ll be seeing from the outside, given your popularity at the moment.
Adm. Gerrel: Every casualty we took in that war was necessary if it meant having the homeworld back, no matter what you and your sycophants say! We didn’t fight that war so you could destroy our people like this!
Adm. Xen: Me, destroy our people? Admiral, I don’t recall wiping some thirty-odd percent of our population.
Adm. Quorum: Thirty-one point six eight two percent. Addendum: rounded down.
Adm. Xen: Thank you, Admiral Quorum.
Adm. Gerrel: You know full well I’m talking about SpecProj! Those [content excised] are abominations!
Adm. Xen: They’re the next stage of quarian evolution!
Adm. Raan: Order!
Adm. Gerrel: You’re forcing the quarians into a singularity!
Adm. Xen: I’m giving them the tools we need to become a galactic superpower!
Adm. Gerrel: [content excised]
Adm. Quorum: That supposition is also demonstrably incorrect, as [content excised]
Adm. Xen: [content excised]
Adm. Raan: Order! Order! No further outbursts! I will thank Admirals Xen and Gerrel to stay on the agreed-upon topic of the Beast. If you wish to discuss Special Projects, you may open the topic once this discussion has been resolved.
Adm. Gerrel: So be it. I move we table discussion of the Beast.
Rep. Kan: With respect, Admiral, our allies want us to act promptly in that regard.
Adm. Xen: Our ‘allies’ would have gladly seen us all dead a year ago. They treat with us now only because they see the might of the geth on our side. Let us see how the situation develops.
Adm. Koris: Quite. Let the aliens take action, if he grieves their bottomless credit servers and Citadel armadas so much.
Adm. Gerrel: On that, at least, we agree.
Adm. Quorum: In accordance with Conclave protocol, I second and call for a vote.
Adm. Raan: So be it. Admiral Gerrel moves to table discussion of the Beast, Admiral Quorum seconds. Make your votes known. [pause] The motion carries. The floor is now open.