Mass Effect Serialisation – Chapter 8
There's been a bit of a break, but I have been writing, so make way for 4 chapters at once! :)
I’ve Earned This
Shepard, Tali and Wrex arrived at the Citadel Tower where Ambassador Udina was presenting the new evidence against Saren. Anderson was waiting in the wings for Shepard and the others to arrive. The atmosphere was palpable in the Tower as Udina passionately gave the evidence proving Saren’s guilt. He may have been a bastard, but you couldn’t deny his passion for humanity.
As Shepard and the others reached the platform that Udina was on and Anderson was waiting at the base of, Anderson beckoned them over and they walked up onto the platform behind Udina.
Udina was stood before the Council already half way through his presentation, the audio of Saren was being played out for all to hear.
“You wanted proof. There it is.” Udina said, pointing towards the Council, making his point and enjoying every second of it.
“This evidence is irrefutable ambassador. Saren will be stripped of his Spectre status, and all efforts made to bring him in to answer for his crimes.” The turian Councillor, Sparatus said.
“The other voice on the recording, speaking with Saren, I recognise it. Matriarch Benezia.” The asari Councillor, Tevos said.
“Who’s she?” Shepard asked,
“Matriarchs are wise and powerful asari who have entered the final stage of their lives. They are revered for their wisdom and experience. Benezia is a powerful biotic, who has many followers. She will be a formidable ally for Saren.” Tevos replied.
“I’m more interested in these Reapers. What do we know about them?” Valern, the salarian Councillor enquired,
“Only what was extracted from the geth’s memory core. They were an advanced race of machines that wiped the protheans out. Then they vanished.” Anderson replied.
“The geth believe the Reapers are gods, and Saren is the prophet for their return.” Shepard added,
“We think the Conduit is the key to bringing them back. Saren’s searching for it. That’s why he attacked Eden Prime.” Anderson said,
“Do we even know what the Conduit is?” Valern asked, his salarian want to know as much as possible about any conceivable threat shining through.
“Only that it could bring back the Reapers. That’s bad enough.” Shepard said,
“Listen to what you’re saying!” Sparatus snapped, “Saren wants to bring back machines that wiped out all life in the galaxy 50,000 years ago. Impossible, it has to be. Where did they go? Why have we found no trace of their existence? If they were real, we’d have found something.”
“I tried to warn you about Saren and you refused to face the truth. Don’t make the same mistake again.” Shepard stated,
“This is different,” Tevos said, “You proved Saren is a traitor, and we all agree he is using the geth to search for the Conduit, but we really don’t know the reasons why.”
“The Reapers are obviously a myth, Commander. A convenient lie to cover Saren’s true purpose. A legend he is using the bend the geth to his will.” Valern said,
“50,000 years ago the Reapers wiped out all galactic civilisation. If Saren gets to the Conduit, it will happen again.” Shepard said with conviction,
“Saren is a rogue agent on the run for his life. He no longer has the privileges or resources of a Spectre agent, the Council has stripped him of his position.” Sparatus said with authority, Udina obviously getting pent up at the situation exploded,
“That is not good enough!” he shouted, “You know he’s hiding somewhere in the Traverse – send your fleets in!”
“A fleet cannot track down one man.” Valern said knowing he was right,
“Maybe not, but a Citadel fleet in the Traverse could secure the entire region – stop Saren from attacking any more of our colonies!” Udina immediately replied,
“Or it could trigger a war with the Terminus systems.” Sparatus said, obviously losing patience with the human’s in front of him, “We won’t be dragged into a galaxy wide conflict over the loss of a few dozen human colonies.” He said with added disdain on the word “human”.
“Every time humanity asks for help the Council ignores us!” Shepard said, rising along with pretty much everyone else to the heated tensions,
“Shepard’s right!” Udina said, “I’m sick of this Council and all of its anti-human bull—“ he was cut off by Tevos,
“Ambassador!” she blurted out, “There is a way that we could resolve this that wouldn’t require fleets or armies.” As she spoke, she looked over at Councillor Sparatus,
“No! It’s too soon. Humanity isn’t ready for the responsibilities of joining the Spectres.” Sparatus spat back,
“It was a turian Spectre who betrayed this Council, and it was a human who exposed him. I’ve earned this!” Shepard fought back,
The 3 Councillors spoke quietly among themselves, Tevos and Valern nodded in agreement, while Sparatus nodded with reluctance.
“Commander Shepard – step forward.” Tevos said,
Shepard looked over at Anderson, his mentor, and he smiled back at him and ushered him forward. Shepard took the centre stage from Udina, who stepped to the side. Crowds started to gather in the viewing platforms around them, people began whispering between themselves, and dozens of omni-tools could be seen as people began to record this famous moment.
“It is the decision of the Council that you be granted all of the powers and privileges of the Special Tactics and Reconnaissance branch of the Citadel.” Tevos said in this history making moment,
“Spectres are not trained, but chosen. Individuals forged in the fire of service and battle; those whose actions elevate them above the rank and file.” Valern said,
“Spectres are an ideal, a symbol. The embodiment of courage, determination and self-reliance. They are the right hand of the Council, instruments of our will.” Tevos said,
“Spectres bare a great burden. They are protectors of galactic peace, both our first and last line of defence. The safety of the galaxy is theirs to uphold.” Sparatus added,
“You are the first human Spectre, Commander. This is a great accomplishment for you and your entire species.” Tevos said, wrapping things up.
“I’ve been ready for this since Eden Prime.” Shepard said, indignantly.
“We’re sending you into the Traverse after Saren. He’s a fugitive from justice, so you are authorised to use any means necessary to apprehend or eliminate them.” Valern said,
“I’ll find him.” Shepard said with a nod,
“Then this meeting of the Council is adjourned.” Tevos said as the 3 Councillors retired to the Council Chambers.
Shepard exhaled deeply, knowing that he had been granted a massive honour. Anderson was the first to walk up to him, shaking his hand strongly.
“Congratulations, Shepard.” He said with a broad smile, he was so proud. Anderson didn’t have any children of his own, and he had come to see Shepard as his own.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do Shepard. You’re going to need a ship, a crew, supplies…” Udina said, holding his chin while he spoke. “Anderson, come with me. I’ll need your help to set all this up.”
Anderson nodded, then smiled at Shepard again as the two walked away.
“Hmph,” Wrex muttered, “Bastard didn’t even thank you.”
“What do you expect from a politician? Come on, let’s go.” Shepard said as he along with Wrex and Tali walked away.