[8] February, 2185 CE – Cerberus Daily News

The Citadel Council has produced a report
of the economic progress of Council space which underwent a deep recession following
the attack on the Citadel. The Citadel claims unemployment is falling
amidst job growth, but the chairman of the Vol Protectorate has accused them of denying
access to their statistical sources, thus allowing the Council to manipulate the data
in their favor. The Council maintains that withholding sources
is standard procedure in turian, asari, and salarian government and is vital to investor
confidence. The extrasolar comet CR1331 Kingu will soon
pass by the hanar colony world of Belan (Undercurrent). The comet contains a volatile gas element
that the system’s sun will warm up, but it is not known how the reaction will alter the
comet’s trajectory. It is impossible to determine whether the
comet will strike Belan or simply pass it by. Hanar citizens are hastily evacuating the
colony while their government petitions the turian fleet to commission a dreadnought to
intercept the comet. Aish Ashland, granddaughter of energy magnate
Jonah Ashland, attended her hearing this morning for red sand possession. “I think I and a whole lot of people don’t
even known [sic] why it’s illegal,” she said. “Biotics have stuff like this in their nervous
systems twenty-four hours a day. Why is it legal for them?” Her supporters surrounded the courthouse hoping
to get a glimpse of the socialite whose infamy hasn’t stood in the way of her e-book deal
or other engagements, such as the event this evening in which Aish’s DNA will be donated
to the Hollywood Bank of Fame. Three simultaneous break-ins at the Citadel
Council’s Ministry of Finance have provoked outrage from the Council and cast suspicions
on the Vol Protectorate, who in recent months demanded to see galactic economic data that
the Council refuses to make public. “We unilaterally condemn these actions, whether
they were done in our name or not,” said Nao Clan spokesman Udra Nao. “The fact that this data has been posted on
the extranet for all to see speaks to the dissent among the people the Council represents,
but theft is a crime that our species takes seriously.” The Citadel Council approved of this condemnation
in statements released this morning, but they do not consider the matter closed – the asari
Spectre Tela Vasir has been assigned to the case. A panel of experts at the Institute for the
Study of Astronomical Bodies have classified the comet CR1331 Kingu as harmless to the
hanar colony world of Belan. They say the comet’s outgassing process will
alter its course and it will cleanly miss the planet. The reaction on Belan ranged from gratitude
to disbelief, while the turians, who were considering sending a dreadnought to destroy
the asteroid, welcomed the news and said they will send a news probe to observe the comet’s
historic passing.” Socialite Aish Ashland has had her DNA rejected
by the Hollywood Bank of Fame on the grounds that it does not match the sample attributed
to her health ID card. Preliminary analysis indicates the DNA she
submitted was that of a close female relative. Office watercoolers galaxy-wide are buzzing
with the news. Las Vegas casinos have placed odds on the
identity of the sample, covering all her known relatives. The most popular is her close cousin Lili
at 2:1. Additionally, odds that this is a deliberate
publicity stunt are currently placed at 1.5:1. Earth nations gathered around their vidsets
today for Super Bowl CCXIX, an annual sporting and media event that culminates the North-American-Union-Rules
football season. The New York Giants defied expectations and
took down the Beijing Dragons in a tight 24-19 game. The highlight was a 69-yard pass from krogan
QB Bragus Thul. The game’s top-3 hit commercials were Aldrin
Labs’ hilarious “Improvise”, Unithirst’s “Coffee Cola Rock ‘n’ Rolla”, and Binary Helix’s “Not
My Future, Thanks.” As for the greatest tease, it goes to the
trailer for the soon-to-be summer blockbuster Nekyia Corridor, which sent sports fans to
the extranet trying to find out what the heck a nekyia was. A growing consortium of scientists have signed
an extranet petition claiming that the findings of the Institute for the Study of Astronomical
Bodies concerning the Kingu comet are in grave error. Using telemetry from the Shining Sky orbital
station, they calculate that CR1331 Kingu will come close enough to produce a dangerous
meteor shower and possibly disrupt the planet gravitationally. Millions of citizens are headed for higher
ground to await the alleged doomsday, blocking all traffic arteries and overwhelming spaceports. Travel to Belan has been restricted. The Citadel Council welcomes the planet Turvess
to the galactic community today. The planet’s sentient species, the raloi,
launched their first space telescope into orbit last year, which detected the presence
of the asari cruiser Azedes. Tomorrow, visitors from all over the galaxy
will land outside six cities on Turvess, bearing welcome wishes and gifts for the raloi. Tickets for the Council’s sponsored ships
have been sold out for months, and due to disease concerns, no other ships are legally
allowed planetfall at that time. A comm buoy near Turvess will be dedicated
to sending welcome messages to the planet for twenty galactic standard hours. The Kingu comet has hurtled past the hanar
colony world Belan, and its disruption has been devastating. Though the main body of the comet did not
strike the surface of the planet, the comet, at one-quarter the size of Belan’s moon, disrupted
tides all over the planet with its gravity. Tsunamis have ravaged coastal cities all over
the globe, breaking levees, flooding urban centers, and drowning non-hanar citizens. The Citadel Council has declared the entire
planet of Belan a disaster zone, and estimates of the full credit value of the damage will
take months. The Kingu comet’s wake of destruction continues
to dominate the news cycle. New video shows meteor showers caused by hot
gasses breaking giant chunks of ice off the comet. No population centers were struck by the impacts,
which left craters up to 180 metres in diameter. Meanwhile, the Intergalactic Red Cross, the
turian Lifebearer Brigade, the hanar organization Healing Waters, and hundreds of other charities
galaxy-wide have pledged their support to housing and feeding the uncountable refugees
of the planet. Images coming out of the hanar colony world
Belan are brutal. Though one might think an aquatic species
such as the hanar would survive flooding, tsunamis more than fifteen meters high crushed
many hanar living close to the coasts. Collapsing buildings and broken power lines
have also caused casualties. Pest-driven diseases plague the refugee camps
and insects and mold spores have infested abandoned neighborhoods. Reconstruction efforts have begun in some
cities, beginning with the all-important drainage of areas still under water. Spaceport traffic is still jammed as millions
of citizens attempt to return to their homes. The verdict is in and the news is stunning. Aish Ashland attempted to switch her own DNA
at the Hollywood Bank of Fame with those of her estranged fraternal twin Mina. The socialite said in interviews today that
this was her way of apologizing to Mina for a lifetime of stealing her boyfriends and
tormenting her. “My twin sister has always been the best of
our family,” Aish said, “and I knew the world didn’t need more Aishes. It needed more Minas, so I substituted a cheek
swab of hers instead of my own.” The odds placed on Mina at gambling casinos
came in at 42:1, the highest of any of her female relatives. Mina Ashland could not be reached for comment. Many human planets and colonies celebrate
St. Valentine’s Day today, a holiday themed around romantic love and the greeting card
industry. Prospective or established mating partners
exchange love notes with one another, and some add gifts of cut flowers, jewelry, or
sugary confections in the hopes of receiving sexual favors. Industry insiders estimate over 2 billion
Valentine messages will be sent this year on Earth and an additional 5 billion throughout
the human colonies. The holiday is rapidly spreading among the
asari and volus, who embrace its unusual mix of commerce and reproduction. The Citadel Council delegation to the newly
welcomed planet Turvess ejected its krogan representatives today after the introduction
of a krogan sport called kowla devolved into a brawl that left three dead and fourteen
injured. The krogan representatives denounced the ejection,
saying that kowla was successfully introduced to Turvess “with its traditions fully intact,”
and that there was no need to overreact. A poll taken among the Turvess indicated that
only 21% opposed the move to remove the krogan from the remainder of the ceremonies. C-Sec authorities have arrested a turian lawmaker
on the Citadel who was funding a krogan project to rebuild a dreadnought on the planet of
Tuchanka. Ellis Valterus, duarch of the Meade Cluster,
smuggled everything from blueprints to rare materials to backpacks full of cash to the
Talyth clan, according to C-Sec officials. The sting operation to capture Valterus took
one and a half years. If successfully prosecuted, Valterus faces
life in prison with no possibility of parole. Six members of a group calling itself TruthHax
has been arrested for the illegal uploading of sensitive economic data from the Citadel
Council. An additional four members of the group were
shot to death in what appears to be an internal struggle. Tela Vasir, the Spectre assigned to the case,
had no comment on her role in these matters, saying only that she considers the case resolved
and is pleased with the rapid results. Now that the celebrations on the planet Turvess
have ended, a raloi delegation has been sent to the Citadel for a three-month stay. The delegation will be educated in intergalactic
law, history, alien biology and culture, and the rudiments of mass effect physics. Due to an outbreak of the H7N7 flu virus that
infected the avian raloi during the opening ceremonies on their planet, the raloi on the
Citadel will wear environmental suits whenever they are in contact with an alien species. The governmental response to the situation
on Belan is receiving fire today. As fresh food supplies spoil, starvation and
looting have become rampant. Some cities such as New Plentiful have been
spared the worst of the chaos as their geography allows for emergency air- and spacelifts of
supplies. Others, such as the subarctic city of Whitecap,
must deal with a paralyzing lack of infrastructure as well as temperature extremes. The official global death toll has reached
110,000 and estimates place the complete figure anywhere from 1.1 to 3.5 million. Tonight’s telethon to assist the disaster-struck
planet of Belan should be a star-studded affair. A-list entertainers such as Alis Price Vladamir
Bukin will appear in the 2-hour special, directed by Ronny Lam. So full is the guest list that the entire
cast of the extranet series Crashcart was turned away at the door. Legends like Amita Valla will be putting in
the hours working the comm units. “We want to let Belan know we’re a caring
galaxy,” she says, “and if it takes some rich and spoiled entertainers to call attention
to the fact that a few million people just died, we’re there for you, sister.” Filming of the space epic Nekyia Corridor
took a turn for the worse today as lightning struck the leading man. Nathan Gold, star of the 5.1-billion-credits-so-far
enterprise, was strapped to the surface of a spaceship in the upper atmosphere of a gas
giant when lightning hit the hull. Insulated against most of the effect, the
Golden One had his suit’s electronics suite fried and had to signal for assistance to
get oxygen. Director Morgan Bierster says that he hopes
the footage will stay in the final cut of the film. “You can’t make stuff like this up,” says
Bierster. “It’s going to be a once-in-a-lifetime sensation.” This weekend’s galactic box office crown went
to the new dramadey hospital buddy actioner Heartbeat, at 3.8 billion credits, edging
out the romantic horror Night Winds at 2.9 billion. In at third is the sleeper hit With Soft Shoe
Number, at 800 million credits, surpassing its previous three weeks on the charts. The no-budget comedy about a volus and an
elcor trying to make it on Broadway apparently has staying power, confounding elcor and volus
critics who roasted the film. Militant separatists on the turian colony
of Taetrus have claimed responsibility for a downed commercial cruiser that crashed into
a remote farming village on the planet. Believed to be a botched hijacking, the cruiser
was going at orbital velocities when it hit the ground, creating a furrow three kilometers
long and setting fire to the surrounding countryside. There were no survivors. Fire experts say the flight recorder is unlikely
to have survived an impact at such speeds, which can exceed thirty thousand kilometers
per hour. The annual One Future Summit, a seven-day
convention held on the asari homeworld of Thessia by ecological conservation groups
across the galaxy, opened its doors today. Attendance for the convention is estimated
at 200,000 per day with another 300,000 appearing virtually. All profits will be donated to conservational
causes. This year’s theme is terraforming. The convention hosts such luminaries as Iali
T’Nuson and Ben Vabo. Elsewhere in the host city, the more radical
fringe has reportedly set up a parallel, underground convention called the One Chance Summit in
which ecoterrorism techniques are not barred from discussion. A
Mantis spaceplane led the Earth Systems Alliance fleet on a high-speed chase tonight, originating
in Mexico City. Sixteen-year-old Jorge Asensio reportedly
stole the plane from a poorly secured mercenary landing pad, having learned how to fly from
a flight simulator computer game and the ship’s onboard VI. Following major highways to his school, he
buzzed the soccer field before the United North American States Air Force was scrambled
to deal with him. Climbing to the upper atmosphere, he outran
the pursuing planes, was then pursued by Systems Alliance fighters in low earth orbit, then
ran out of fuel over Antarctica. After parachuting from the plane, he froze
to death before authorities found his body. Charges of criminal negligence are now being
filed with the Tiburón Rojo mercenary company. Skye Turnick, the sole surviving member of
the Cerberus cell responsible for the now-infamous “torture den” of captive aliens on the Terminus
Systems planet Trident, escaped from custody at 9:37 local time this morning. A paramilitary attack using vectored thrust
gunships destroyed the escort boats surrounding the prisoner transport and then took off with
Turnick. Other prisoners in the transport bore witness
to the event, some of them even helping the guards out of the water. Trident’s Maritime Justice Department reports
no leads in locating the escape craft, noting that Trident has only has a few high-res spy
satellites or down-looking radar balloons to be tasked to such an operation. Asked if she believes the attack was commanded
by Cerberus, Special Agent in Charge Angela Rhow said, “If it looks like a bomb, and explodes
like a bomb, it’s a bomb.” Transworld 1 opened its doors for the first
time today, inducting it into official records as the tallest building in the known galaxy. Built on the planet of Kosh in the Attican
Traverse, Transworld 1 has its 1002 stories devoted to shopping malls, office space, three
hotels, a zoo and aquarium, and of course parking. Situated on a world where the gravity is only
70% of galactic standard, the building uses mass effect fields to lighten the load in
key areas. This extravagance is paid for by a marked
increase in rent — office space in Transworld 1 comes at a pricey 61,000 credits per square
meter per year. The manhunt to find Skye Turnick and his Cerberus
allies has slowed space traffic to a crawl on the planet of Trident. In their dragnet to catch Turnick, the Global
Maritime Justice have covered every starport on the planet. Critics say it’s not a wise strategy. “There seems to be a hurry to show that they’re
doing something when the most likely route off the planet is straight up,” said Ranier
Drakensburg, mayor of Black Bay, Andrada. Global Maritime Justice responded in a press
conference today, saying that they had no evidence that the alleged Cerberus criminals
had single-stage-to-orbit capability. Additionally, many of the spaceports were
already closed today due to the inclement weather that plagues Trident throughout its
rainy season.

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