There is a wide range of issues that one can feel strongly about. Some may be personal, some may be related to blood, some can encompass the whole world, either from the way it is or how it should be. And when one does, it is their reason that often tempers their choice of how to address such issues.Sometimes, especially when one’s inhibitions are eroded by alcohol or youthful vigor, the emotion can direct their actions toward violence.You are Henri Ford, special consultant for the Citadel Institute of Xenoarchaeology, and you just interrupted your drink with Libella, a Spectre friend of yours, to defend your colleague from a group of young people riled up by a recent Krogan row, an action that quickly degraded into a brief brawl. Fortunately, nobody was seriously hurt.As the gathering breaks up against the backdrop of the ambient music, the assailants picking themselves and each other up and limping away into a shadowy corner of the room to lick their wounds and prides and spectators returning to their drinks and conversations, you steal one more glance at your friend and exchange brief nods of acknowledgment, his expression more somber than what you’re used to seeing after a tavern brawl.Without another word you head back towards the alcove where your friend and you were seated, taking note of the varied expressions of other patrons as you walked past. You estimate that less than a third of them are scowling at you.
Rolled 93, 48, 28 = 169 (3d100)“Sorry about that.” You say to the Asari woman seated in the shadow.“I understand. Don’t worry about it.” She says.“We should go.”“Yes, we should.”You step back and let her walk past you, following her through the remainder of the club floor. The bouncer, who already reclaimed his position at the door, gives you a respectful nod as you leave.“Good show, mate. Though you might want to not show your face in the Wild for a while.” He says when you return the gesture, quickly shifting his focus back to scanning the area, indicating he’s not about to elaborate.With Libella at your side you walk back towards the outpost in silence, though the Spectre is first to break it after a while.“There may be more going on in the Red zone than what I assumed.” She says in hushed voice.“What do you mean?”“I was reviewing some of my findings while you were dancing, as intel you’ve shared - thanks again, by the way - supplies much of the context I was missing, but it still leaves a lot of movement unexplained, or at least tentative.”“So, more than just our canine friends and the politics?”“Maybe, or maybe the stakes are higher than we understand. I’ll send you a message if I find something more.”“Thank you.”A silence begins to settle once more as you walk amidst the broken and hastily patched up structures towards the characteristic Asari spires of the outpost.>Volunteer to help (right now? Later?)>Ask some more about the Cerberus hunt>Ask about Leviathans (tell her what you already know?)>Ask/Talk about something else (specify)>Keep your peace
>>3838850>>Volunteer to help (Later?)she can contact us if she needs anything, we are heading out to that Krogan thing to deal with it before tension between species becomes too high.>Ask about Leviathanstry not to tell much but see if she knows about it, ask if she knows about any devices in the red zone and their origin
>>3838850>>3838859SupportingGlad to have you back QM
>>3838859This and another question>are this kinds of attacks getting normal? Is it onpy Cerberus or there is a political force behind it?
>>3838850>Ask/Talk about something else (specify)About the allyThis too>>3838898
“If there’s something I can do to help... just ask.” You say after a while, prompting the Asari to smile.“I appreciate the offer. I’ll keep it in mind. In fact I believe I can think of a few things, but the plans are still coming together.”“That’s fine. I wanted to check out this Krogan affair first, anyway.”“You certainly keep yourself busy, Doctor Ford. Though I’m not sure how much one man can do to, especially if the emotions have already risen to such level...”“Doesn’t mean that I can’t try.” You say wryly and let the silence take over afterwards, prompting you friend to gently shake her read,“Does something like that... happen often?” You ask after another moment passes.“You mean, the fight?” She asks. “Well, during my brief time here I’ve seen a scuffle or two, but nothing quite so political.” She makes a pause. “Though I do believe your friend is the first Krogan to visit this locale.”“Do you think there might be an agency behind this?”“I suppose it cannot be ruled out, but I don’t want to jump to premature conclusions. It could be a side effect of someone purposefully stoking tensions, though.”“Xenophobic agitation.” You murmur and let a touch less comfortable silence fall once more. Then a though occurs to you - what if the conflict is fueled by something even more sinister than political intrigue?You keep quietly hesitating for only a brief moment until you decide that Libella is trustworthy enough to ask and with clearance pretty much as high as one can get.“Miss Tefar...”“Libella’s Fine.” She says with a small smile.“...Libella, have you heard about something called the Leviathans?”The smile vanished as the Asari freezes, confirming her at least passing familiarity with the topic.“You never cease to surprise, Doctor Ford.” She says after few moments as she regains her composure. “You’re moving over even deeper waters than I suspected.”“I am asking because I am concerned that there may be a darker power at play here.”
She sighs.“I’m sorry, but I cannot in good conscience tell you what I know. But,” she hesitates. “I can tell you this, to the best of my knowledge surface of your Homeworld is not affected by the force you are talking of.”You consider her words. “Does that-“She gives you a sad look. “That is all I can say on the subject. Well, already said more than that. But so did you, I suspect.”It’s your turn to sigh. “Touché.”“However... I’d like to assure you that all who are aware of the topic take it very seriously.”You force a smile. Well, it seems that as far as Council agents are aware, Leviathans should not have any say in Earth. That hopefully means no borderline supernatural to deal with... and no excuses for your people’s willingness to rock the boat for individual gain only days after an apocalypse has been averted, as petty a concern as that is. Well, no point in denying the reality.As you backtrack in your mind to the situation at hand, another question emerges:“Libella, I believe you mentioned-“Before you finish asking it, however, Eve’s voice comes in over your comlink, warning you about an incoming craft. She barely finishes her report when a shuttle swoops down from the sky and settles itself just a few paces away. It’s a civilian model, though still a spaceworthy skycar, a rare luxury still in these days. And used to military insignia as you’ve gotten over last few weeks it takes you a while to recognize markings the craft is sporting.The vessel bears symbol of Citadel News Net.You turn towards Libella to gauge her reaction only to realize she’s not there anymore. She must’ve recognized the shuttle earlier and darted into one of the side alleys.Meanwhile, skycar’s hatch opens and a woman steps out that you quickly recognize, followed by a man who apparently serves as her pilot.“Doctor Henri Ford, I presume?” The woman addresses you, steely sparkle in her one good eye. “Emily Wong, Citadel News Net. Could I have a few moments of your time?”>”No comment.”>”certainly, how can I help?”>”I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.”>Other
>>3839193>>”I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.”
>>3839193"Eve bring the car, fast, if you can use a different face"Tell that either through text or some other way she can't hear as.>”I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.”Walk and talk
>>3839193>>”I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.”>>3839208support
>>3839193>”I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush.”>>3839208Maybe just bringing the car around.
Not now, you decide and resume walk while nonchalantly tapping a “exfil ASAP” into the message interface.“Deploying skycar.” You Heard Eve whisper.Miss Wong’s lips turn up as you approach but the expression quickly turns into an exasperated scowl when she realizes you’re picking up pace and walking past her rather than to her.“I’m sorry, Miss Wong, but I’m in a bit of a rush.” You say as you walk.“I say!” She replies as you go past and around the CNN shuttle. “You’re proving quite a lively character, Doctor! Veteran of London, Hero of the Quarian Fleet... Will you ever *not* be in a rush? Our viewers would be interested in your perspective!”“Doesn’t seem that way!” You say back without turning around.“Please, reconsider! Without your account our findings may be inaccurate!”You don’t slow down even if the words give you a pause. It’s not a threat, but she wouldn’t be doing her job if she let go of the story just because you don’t want to do an interview.A familiar sound of Livingstone’s thrusters announces your salvation. The expedition skycar arcs gracefully from behind one of the ruined buildings, its viewports turned to full opacity to obscure absence of a pilot. You make your way to the passenger side hatch while Miss Wong shouts one more question at you.“What was on Enceladus?”>say nothing>”I don’t know what you’re talking about.”>”A whole lot of ice.”>”classified.”>”just some reclusive outcasts.”>”if you can hold on for a while longer, I’ll give you that interview later.”>otherAnd your next destination is...>fly straight to the ship, have Eve pick up her body and Kris afterwards>pick up Eve and Kris first, then head to the ship>other plan
>>3840773>”if you can hold on for a while longer, I’ll give you that interview later>fly straight to the ship, have Eve pick up her body and Kris afterwardsI have a bad feeling about a lone quarian in this place where a lot of people seem hostile to aliens
>>3840773>>”classified.”>>fly straight to the ship, have Eve pick up her body and Kris afterwards
>>3840773>”A whole lot of ice.”>fly straight to the ship, have Eve pick up her body and Kris afterwards>>3840833Shit, and we told her to look around for upgrades too>inb4 we rush there and she is lazily sipping quarian martinis kek
>>3840773>"Ice, a pretty busted semi-ghetto, and apparently everybody's interest.">pick up Eve and Kris first, then head to the ship
>>3840773>”if you can hold on for a while longer, I’ll give you that interview later.”But that question you did is>”classified.”>fly straight to the ship, have Eve pick up her body and Kris afterwards
>>3842280Ok, I'll go eith this
You pause just before boarding the skycar and regard the reporter with a look of your own.“A whole lot of Ice.”She grimaces bemusedly, but you continue.“And a rundown outcast settlement, and apparently some attention. I’m sorry, Miss Wong, but Alliance involvement in that venture is known well enough and there’s little i could freely share. Though if you truly wish for an interview, I’d ask you to bear for a while longer. Right now, though, I really gotta fly.”With that you descend into the shuttle.“I’ll be counting on exclusivity!” You hear her call out before the hatch slams shut and the vehicle takes off.You sigh. There was no way around it, the rumors would be going around either way, and your input was the only way you could have any impact on them.“Where will it be?” Eve’s disembodied voice asks.“To Chariot.” You decide. Better check on Lea who was left all alone. Admittedly in the middle of an Asari military outpost, but still... after all, Libella pretty much confirmed one of the matriarchs might not be squeamish I’m dealing with you if she caught wind of what your ship carries.“Certainly.” Your synthetic friend says and the skycar’s course adjusts towards the Asari structures, taking you swiftly rest of the way over the urban landscape before descending towards the landing pad occupied by your freighter and navigating neatly through the ‘handlebay’ opening.“Smooth flying.” You comment.“Thank you.”You get out of the car and close the hatch. “Go grab yourself and Kris. It’s high time we got a move on.”“Roger.” With that the vehicle takes off once more, withdrawing back out of the repurposed cargo bay. You don’t wait to follow it with your eyes though. Instead you make your way to the ship’s bow where you expect to find your Quarian crewmate and are not disappointed - Lea is sitting in one of the pilot chairs, displays before her as she taps the haptic interface diligently, rows of symbols scrolling up the display before her.“Hey.”She jumps up a bit before composing herself.“Oh! Uh. Cap, it’s you! Um, Sorry, of course it’s you. Err... I didn’t notice the airlock cycle.”“I took the car. How are things here? Any trouble?”“Not that I noticed. The ladies minding the landing pads topped up our fuel and provision stocks. I checked them for bugs.”“Huh, Kris must be rubbing off on you.”“Just being careful, cap.”“Good Job.”
“By the way, how did your date go? Don’t these things usually take... longer?”‘It wasn’t... eh, nevermind. I ended up having to beat up some kids because they were being mean to Kris.”“What... wait, because he’s a Krogan?”You nod.“Sheesh. Well, I guess I can relate, considering how we’re often branded as thieves.”“Well, in any case it seems something fishy is going on here, and someone is actively trying to rile up people against aliens.” You say. “There were organized protests in front of the outposts.”“This is insane.” She exhales. “Any idea who, or why would do this?”“Nothing conclusive. Could be Cerberus, could be politics, could be someone else.” You pause, considering what else could be in the political landscape. “I might be inclined to look into it further, but first things first - we need to see if there’s something we can do to help resolve this Krogan issue before it gets out of hand. Is the ship ready to fly?”“Yes. The resupply was quickly over with, not surprising since we’ve burned relatively low amount since last tanking.” She makes a pause. “About those upgrades you wanted, well...”You sigh. It would be probably too much to ask for this kind of services with the resources stretched as they are. But still, if Solar system was a mess, rest of the galaxy was going to be positively wild lands once the Relay network was reopened. If at all possible, it would be nice to have some aces in the hole before venturing out.“It’s not that the equipment is not available, but some of it could be put to work on construction vehicles or fabbers, and even stuff that’s army surplus at the moment would take dedicated machine and worker time to install, and as freelancers we’re not exactly a priority customers in the open market.” Lea explains.“...But?” You ask, seeing how she’s looking at you with not quite crestfallen sparkle behind her faceplate.“Well, we, or more precisely you, made some friends already that could be willing to divert some resources in our direction.”“When you say it like this it almost sounds crooked.” You groan.“Ha, I guess it would be if they were offering things for free or personal favors. I’m afraid best we can do for now is some barter or doing some extra tasks for them.”“Alright, let’s see what we have here...”
Lea nods and turns back to the interface, swiping away the text she had open and bringing up another. In a few moments your omnitool blips with received data. You get into the other seat and get to reading...>AllianceChariot’s crew has won some quite amicable relations with the Alliance brass, it would seem. Now that you’ve been personally introduced to Admiral Hackett, despite your choice to remain a free agent, you’ve received an unofficial clearance to access Alliance facilities with a status touch more privileged than that of a friendly civilian. You could likely get away with requisitioning some personal equipment or weapons off the bat. Furthermore, considering the success of your last adventure, you could call in a favour in exchange for an upgrade for your ship. However, another option may be available to you in longer run: Commander Kang’s orbital shipyard. If the projects is successfully concluded, the spaceport commander made it clear you would reap considerable benefits for your contribution.>Turian hierarchyMen of their word, Turians are ready to honor work you’ve done for them during your trip to Uranus. You are welcome to drop by their outposts for repairs and refueling, though installing an upgrade would require you to either do some more work for them or trade in something of comparable value.>Quarian FleetYou have made some friends aboard the migrant fleet and can expect warm welcome among them. However, considering that they carefully plan their resources to keep their fleet safe for the voyage home, you’d have to bring something to trade in should you want to ask them for (further) ship tech.>Citadel CouncilYou have not yet received a word from them. This could mean several things: they don’t care, which is a possibility if Libella or their other agents didn’t tell them about you (or your friend is even actively shielding you from their attention), or it could be they are merely watching. In either case, you currently, to the extent of your knowledge, have no reason to expect more than generic courtesy from them.Well, that’s it for now. You don’t have any contacts specifically with Salarians and Asari you only know through Libella. For better or worse you don’t have any contact with Omega forces or the recovering private sector (with one notable exception that is unlikely to be willing to help you in any capacity) and no other factions are currently in position to be dealing in ship tech.You’re about to move on to the part where the actual upgrade options were listed (along with reasons why they are unavailable to you - be it because of costs, restricted technology or incompatibility with Kowloon class) when a comlink comes to life.
“We are both on board.” Eve informs. “However, you may want to postpone our departure by a few minutes, I’ve spotted miss Libella approaching the landing pad.”“Alright,” You say, rising from the seat and heading to the airlock. “I’ll go meet her.”You emerge from the ship just as the Asari reaches up to her comlink to call you. She spots the movement immediately and heads towards you.“Sorry about my sudden disappearance, doctor Ford. Media attention on me could hamper my work considerably.” She says when she closes into the talking range.“Henri’s fine. And I understand.”She nods with a smile. “I am grateful for the opportunity to talk. I hope we’ll be able to do so again, hopefully in less tense circumstances.”“Yeah. One would’ve thought things would be calmer after...”You let your gaze wander to the broken skyline.“Indeed. But that leads to one more point I wanted to address. I believe the words I’m supposed to say are - it’s dangerous to go alone. Here.”She produces a compact parcel from somewhere in her outfit. With a barely discernible gesture the item rearticulates itself into a shape of a small sidearm, its sleek, curvy design betraying its Asari origin - or at least design choice.“Its a custom holdout weapon. It has served me well, but I suspect you may end up needing it more.” You open your mouth to object, but she interrupts. “I have spares, don’t worry.”>Thank her and leave>Ask/talk about something (specify)>otherDestination?>Straight for the Krogan camp. Their want as is still up and they should be less suspicious if you go straight to them.>Head for the refugee camp nearby. If something is about to happen, this is where it will likely be organized>head to the nearby Alliance outpost, maybe you’ll be able to coordinate with local authorities?>change of plans, we’re going somewhere else entirely (specify)>other
>>3847641>Straight for the Krogan camp. Their want as is still up and they should be less suspicious if you go straight to them.>Thank her and leaveJealous of our "date" Lea?
>>3847641>Thank her and leave>Ask/talk about something (specify)You never mentioned that ally, who is it? Someone I should keep an eye out for?>Straight for the Krogan camp. Their want as is still up and they should be less suspicious if you go straight to them.
>>3847641>Thank her and leave"I'd say 'be safe', but 'stay alive out there' might be more accurate with your job.">Straight for the Krogan camp. Their want as is still up and they should be less suspicious if you go straight to them.
You look at the weapon in your hand, test its grip and weight - it's light, considerably lighter than some of the models you picked up between one battlefield and other. Raising it prompts a barely perceptible holographic sights to pop up. Satisfied you lower your arm and take another closer look at the sidearm. Libella helpfully indicates a small switch on the side of the weapon. You trigger it and watch it fold itself back into shape of an elongated object fitting neatly into your palm. Only remarkable feature on its smooth surface is a stylised Asari symbol for luck."Now that's a charm I could place my faith in." You grin and look up at the smiling Asari. "Thank you, Mi- Libella. I appreciate it. Will you be fine without it?""There's no need for concern. I've got spares. Sometimes I need to dispose of them on the job so I'm ordering them by batches."You frown. "Wait. Are you saying that there's more of these lying around?""Not really. The omnigel matrix is configured to deteriorate if it's not activated about once in a week to refresh the pattern. It becomes just a harmless charm after that. Also, it can be... rigged to detonate."Raising your eyebrows, you involuntarily extend your hand to put slightly more distance between the device and yourself.Libella giggles. "Don't worry. I'll send you a user's instruction."You force yourself to relax and shake your head."Alright, I better get moving. Thanks again and... I guess 'safe' is not really an option in your line of work, is there? So I guess 'Stay alive' will have to do.""You too, Henri. Your sentiment is welcome, though I suspect you intend to place yourself in greater danger than I will. Fly safe."You recall your adventures of recent days and grimace a little but give her another smile and a nod as you turn around and step back into the ship.Then you stop in your tracks, turning back to her for one last question."You mentioned an ally, earlier. Anyone I should be on lookout for?""Oh my, doctor Ford, you are not being jealous, are you?" She teases. "Ah, forgive me. It's an STG operative I've worked with in the past, now our tasks seem to overlap again. I'll introduce you if the opportunity arises.""I'll be looking forward to it. Until we meet again!" You say, satisfied with the answer for now.She gives you another smiling nod and a casual impression of a salute as you wave your hand over the controls and the airlock seals itself shut.Then, wanting to remain true to your word, you bring up your comlink as you stride towards Chariot's bridge."Alright, people, we're off for the new adventure. Eve, fire the engines. We're going to Africa.""Elevate." Eve's voice comes in as an acknowledgment.Moment later you can feel the barely discernible twitch as your frame of reference switches from that of the Earth to that of your ship. You make your way to the bridge, your crew already settled in, the landscape is shifting around as Chariot arcs into the sky.
"So, what's the plan?" Kris asks as you settle in."Well, they are still looking for consultants, right? That's what we do. We consult." You reply. "We're going straight to the chieftain and try to find some way to resolve this conflict before it escalates."The Krogan, sitting in the second pilot's seat next to you, gives you a look.He doesn't say anything, just looks at you."What?" You ask."Was that it?""Yes." You feel your lips turning up in a grin once again. "Look, we've got..." Your eyes wander to the interface with a flight time estimate. "...some two hours to hammer out some scenarios, and what our place in them could be, but until we know more details about the situation we are not exactly in position to plan our game several moves in advance."Kris sighs and turns back forward."Fair.""Don't worry, Kris. We've faced terrors from the depth of time and their machines hell bent on obliterating us, and we're still around. We've got this." You say, with a touch more confidence than you feel yourself.Your Krogan friend knows."Yeah. Yeah, you're right." He says.For a moment you just watch the scenery shrink before you as the ship ascends on its parabolic path.You can tell there's a difference now. There's much more movement, for once, although in large part that's owing to the sheer bulk of the airships ferrying people and supplies where infrastructure has not yet been suitably restored. It still feels comforting that some peaceful semblance of traffic has returned to Earth, in contrast to the harried streams of refugees congregating in what used to be larger settlements, towards the uncertain, if hopeful, future.Some sections of the blackened urban landscape are also gleaming with fresh construction, some of it alien - like the Asari outpost you're leaving behind. You find yourself wondering how those will develop going forward. Will they be gradually abandoned or reabsorbed as the coalition forces eventually return to their homeworld? Or will the form hubs of exotic culture, perhaps ingraining and propagating throughout the society as it pieces itself back up around them? Will they turn into secluded communities, isolated by physical or psychical barriers, or will they become an integral parts of the recovering communities?Will we consider them "ours" following the joint struggle where blood of many species was caked together beneath the heat of Reaper eyebeams, or will the differences, from physiology through culture to values drive us apart once more? And which path would ultimately prove to be the right one? Was there even one that was right, or only the ones that were left?
That was enough time wasted on idle musings, you decide."Alright, Kris, Eve, you spent some time here few days back. What did you learn that could help us?" You ask.Kris growls a sigh. "Glad you asked, but there's not much helpful I can tell except a few names." He brings up some files and swipes them over to your console. You pop them open and are regaled with a stack of pictures Kris made during his earlier investigation.First few of them showcase a cliff face rising above a canopy of dense foliage, casting a shadow over an artificial clearing. You could see groups of Krogan walking by or grouped up in conversation, or tending to some antiquated, presumably salvaged, land vehicles. What really attracted attention however was the structure carved crudely into the rock face - an artificial, vaguely dome shaped cave supported by rock pillars and its own arcing walls, its far side obscured from view by shadows."What am I looking at?" You ask, even as comments and snippets of information, courtesy of Eve, begin to pop up next to the image - geographical coordinates, geological composition, weather patterns."It's the great hall of the chieftain Kara of the Bant clan. Biggest settlement of my folk outside of Urdnot outpost in the Highlands.""Biggest? How big are we talking?""Couple of hundred Krogan. Although "biggest" is not maybe the right word to use, it's basically the only one except for a few shamans who wanted to set up shop further out in seclusion.""Alright, so it's a bunch of rebels? Or exiles?""No, no. They're simply a tribe that decided to settle themselves elsewhere. Warlord Wrex has a fuckload of authority as the one who united the clans and cured the Genophage, but that doesn't necessarily mean the smaller chiefs have to agree with him all the time.""...so, dissenters. And he didn't have cause to keep them in line by force.""Not without turning more chieftains against himself, anyway." Kris nods. "Though I suspect he's ready to step in if Kara does something really dumb.""He and everyone else on this planet." You mumble to yourself, recalling that the Alliance as well as some vigilantes were gathering in anticipation of problems, or possibly to create them. Another, less than pleasant, thought crosses you - what sort of agencies could be at play here with sole intention of exacerbating the tensions."Yeah..." Kris growls. "Well, I didn't meet anyone I could recognize as Warlord's agents but I don't doubt there are going to be some."Inwardly you find yourself groaning. This task was shaping to be even more complex than you initially suspected - and the stakes higher.>Keep going through the available information on the Krogan settlement>Discuss with the crew - the task>Discuss with the crew - something else (specify)>Check the news>other
>>3860639>>Keep going through the available information on the Krogan settlement>>Discuss with the crew - the task
>>3860639>>3860639>Keep going through the available information on the Krogan settlementAnd>discuss what we talked with the specter
>>3860639>Keep going through the available information on the Krogan settlement>Discuss with the crew - the task
I have hoped to squeeze a bit more into this thread but alas that was not meant to be.At any rate, this concludes Episode 10, part 3. The thread has been committed to Citadel Archives:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3838849/Henri Ford and his stalwart crew will return in Episode 11!
>>3868410Thanks for running as always, see you next time
Episode 11 shall be available here:>>3868445