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Mass Effect/After Earth Chronicles: ANN News- Shuttle Bomb Swarm Hits Chav


ANN News Desk

On location in Chav

May 16, 2198

Shuttle Bomb Swarm Hits Chav

by Lionel Storm

NEW BRISTOL, CHAV– Twenty hours ago hundreds of explosive laden civilian vehicles struck military and civilian installations across Chav’s northern hemisphere. The so called “Shuttle Bomb Swarm” hit multiple isolated installations. Each swarm contained several waves of explosive ladened VI operated vehicles that crashed into their targets.

One such target was the Regional Defense Station of Low Valley. The station with its joint Alliance/ CPM (Chav Planetary Militia) garrison guards the Low Valley area known as the planetary breadbasket. It provides 50% of the colony’s foodstuffs in the form of wheat, rye, corn, and rice fields. At 03:33 hrs. local, the first wave of shuttle bombs crashed into the outer perimeter of base. The survivors erected kinetic barriers around the base’s central structures and repositioned the reminder of their air defense systems in a ring around the central headquarters building. For more than three hours dozens of car and truck bombs attempted to blast their way through to the militia’s HQ with little success. The attacks stopped once an alliance marine task force reached the beleaguered defenders.

The colonial government has not released any official estimates of casualties but reports from regional hospitals claimed that they were swamped with casualties and at least one morgue rented several portable refrigeration units to keep up with the demand. 

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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 6 (c.4): Bookkeeping


Outside the Chamber of Ministers, New Arcturus Station, Arcturus System, Arcturus Stream, May 14, 2198

People came and went through the packed corridors of the station while the intercom blared a stream of announcements.

“Admiral Cazador please report to Admiral Hayase’s office.”

“Captain Sheridan, your shuttle is waiting on the docking bay five.”

“Ensigns Mariner, Rutherford, Boimler, and Tendi please report to the VR training area immediately,”

“A reminder to all new arrivals, the white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only.”

“Commander Thompson-Ramos to Admiral Lyndon office.”

I dumped the remains of my lunch in the nearest trash can and followed the nav point to Lyndon’s office. After a brief wait as the Admiral’s aide informed her of my presence I was led inside.

“Commander, it’s so good to see you. I hope everything is well?” asked the admiral.

I indulged in the perfunctory small talk I had little time for. The galaxy smoldered while we exchanged pleasantries, “Yes ma’am. The Kurks is ready to depart as soon as possible.”

Lyndon nodded, “Yes. Well there is the matter of some bookkeeping before you get your next assignment. First, parliament extended the Executive Powers Act for another thirty days. That gives the pm a limited set of emergency powers to deal with the current crisis. Among said powers is the ability to recall key personnel from the individual reserves as well as to fast track promotions.”

I shook the offered hand, “Thank you ma’am.”

“Second, with a new rank comes new responsibilities. “She handed me a datapad, “You will take command of the newly formed one-hundred and twenty-ninth scout flotilla.”

I scrolled down to the list of assets that made up this new formation, “Sevastopol, Tobruk, Kasserine, El Alamein? This is the entire first tranche of new stealth frigates.”

“Yes. They are currently on other duties but will transfer to your command as soon as they are able. Your mission is to hunt down the raiders attacking our supply lines wherever they may be. You have full sanction to pursue any lead or target beyond Citadel space. Prosecute any and all targets with extreme prejudice.”

“The Council is going to love that.”

“Captain, you’re a Spectre tasked with protecting galactic peace by any means necessary. This is well within your wheelhouse.”

“Understood. It also says I will have a squad of N6 recruits as well as a biotic squad in support. That means that if you add the marines aboard these ships I should have a company size force under my command.”

“Yes. Is that an issue?”

“It could be. I need a clear division of labor and someone with the experience to train and command such an eclectic group.”

Lyndon squinted, “Do you have anyone in mind?”

“Lieutenant Commander James Vega. He is an excellent officer with an impressive record who is overdue for a promotion.”

“I’ll see that it gets done. Any more questions, captain?”

“Not at this time, ma’am.”

“Very well, good luck and good hunting.”

I saluted and left the office. I received a message in the corridor outside the admiral’s office.

The omni-tool projected Nyte’s face, former Cerberus operative and now a member of the Chainbrakers, “Commander we need to talk. I need your help. Meet me at these coordinates as soon as you are able. Time is of the essence. “

It never ends.

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What am I working on?


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Mass Effect/AEC – ANN News: Batarians Reclaim Kha’shan


ANN News Now

May 5, 2197

Batarian Forces Retake Khar’shan

by David Rukil

ANN News Center, Vancouver – After over a year of fighting Reaper remnants in their home world of Khar’shan, the Batarian Assembly released the following statement:

It is with boundless happiness that we declare today, ‘Liberation Day’. Today we mark the reunification of the Batarian people and a new chapter of our history. We would like to thank our allies from among the Citadel races as well as beyond for their sacrifices as they fought alongside the sons and daughters of our homeland to retake our world from the ancient enemy. In the coming weeks we will ask for full reinstatement to the Citadel Council with all the rights and responsibilities that membership implies.

Furthermore we pledge ourselves, once again, to the end of slavery in all our territories and holdings. Those who trade in the liberty of others will find no purchase here and will know the Batarians as their eternal enemies.

We have learned much, suffered much, endured even more, but today we will join the galactic community with our eyes open and our heads held high. Tomorrow begins today.

The Systems Alliance, Quarian Autonomy and Turian Hierarchy released a joint statement congratulating the Batarian Assembly in retaking Khar’shan. They also expressed that they would continue to provide any humanitarian aid the new Batarian government required.

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Mass Effect/AEC – ANN News: Alliance Space Aflame


ANN Headlines Now

April 15, 2198

Frontier Aflame

By Iris Dunnigan

MILGROM, BEKENSTEIN– Multiple flashpoints erupted during the past week across Alliance space. From attacks by biotically infused insects to clashes with pirate fleets, a deluge of bad news hit the Prime Ministers desk:

  • Libertas: Remnants of the former government have launched a series of shuttle-bomb attacks against provisional government targets ahead of a planned referendum on the colony joining the Systems Alliance.
  • Martel: Hundreds of thousands displaced as ferocious klixen attacks drive back the local militia. Reports show that the alien insect infestation has spread to other colonies, including Eden Prime, by as of yet unknown means.
  • Arborea: A failed jailbreak attempt left a dozen guards dead alongside one hundred prisoners in the accompanying prison. Local authorities decline to comment on who the target of the jailbreak was or which group or groups were involved in the attempt,
  • Luna: The Extra-Solar Consortium, a trade group for and by Alliance based shipping companies announced yesterday that the frequency of attacks on both independent and corporate-owned ships in the Attican Traverse increased by thirty-six percent in the last month, a quadrupling of such incidents in the last five years. A spokesperson for the consortium called for Systems Alliance to increase their patrols in the area as well as set up a convoy system along critical routes that linked the Traverse with inner council space.

Minister Hackett announced deployments of Alliance Marine brigades to the affected colonies and a limited call up of reserves to bolster the fleet at this time. Opposition parties warned that if the PM doesn’t offer a plan for a vote to Parliament they will call for a vote of no confidence.

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Mass Effect/AEC – ANN News: Biotic Bugs Infest Colonies


ANN News Desk

On Location on the colony world of Martel

April 12, 2198

Biotic Bugs Infest Colonies

by Paul Wolfram

Patrice Province, Martel – <The scene opens with a human correspondent in an ANN news studio>

“We now bring you a live report from the colony of Martel. Paul, can you tell us the situation there?”

“Yes. Behind me you can see the streams of people, thousands of them, fleeing their homes from sudden attacks by what the local government describes as biotically enhanced alien insects. These appear to be similar to an insect species native to the planet Tuchanka, although at this moment there is no indication of when or how they arrived on the planet. As you see in the distance the militia is attempting to take down several of what look like cybernetic versions of thresher maws.”

“Thresher maws, Paul?”

“Indeed Marty. Except these ones don’t spit acid, but instead use some kind of energy beam to attack their targets.

<Sounds of fighters buzzing overhead>

And those are the planetary militias air forces engaging what look like harvester creatures.”

“Paul, does that mean we are dealing with Reaper’s forces?”

“As of right now we have not seen any Reapers or intercepted any of their signals. In fact these ‘klixen’ seem more intent in demolishing or consuming anything within reach rather than carry out the type of harvesting we saw during the invasion.”

‘What about an Alliance response, Paul?”

“So far we have not seen any Alliance forces arrive on the colony, although local government officials assure us that they are in contact with the office of the prime minister and that reinforcements are on the way.”

“We can only pray that they arrive soon. Thank you Paul for your reporting and stay safe.”

<The ANN correspondent nods and signs out.>

“That was Paul Wolfram signing out. We will update our reporting as new information comes in. For now this has been Martin Chow, from our ANN studios in Hong Kong, signing off. Good night and good luck.”

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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 5 (c.4): News


War Room of the SSV Kurks SR-3, In low orbit over Ludwika, Isseo system, Maroon Sea Cluster, April 11, 2198

The chief communications tech spoke up, “Commander, incoming shuttle from the surface. ID as a Colonial Defense Force shuttle with one General Skelton aboard. She wishes to come aboard.”

“Permission granted. Vega, have marines escort her here.”

“Ok jefe,’ Vega said. Vega came back a few minutes later with General Skelton and another CDF officer. Her armor showed streaks of mud and a half melted left pauldron. “Commander Thompson-Ramos, General Susan Skelton of Ludwika’s Colonial Defense Forces,” said Vega.

We shook hands, “Looks like you walked out right of the battlefield, general.”

She inserted an OSD into the holo-projector, “Aye I did and this is what we have been fighting.”

The hologram of the alien insect filled the center of the war room. Jack let out a short but potent stream of expletives. I turned around to face her, “I take it you seen these things before?”

“They are some kind of fire breathing Tuchanka bugs that, get this, explode when you kill them,” she said.

“Whatever they are, that is not the half of it,” General Skelton said. The still imaged switched to a video of hundreds of klixen charging a barricade. Each one also glowed a deep blue.

“That’s fucking great, they got biotics too,” said Jack. The video confirmed her assessment as the klixen used a variety of biotic powers to slam soldiers around and tear them apart in globes of dark energy. Then came the pièce de résistance, thresher maws covered in metallic plates, spewing energy beams from their mouths and above them circled dozens of harvesters.

“They pop up from the ground grab or eat anything organic, crops, livestock, people, and dismantle everything else. We spent the last twenty-four hours fighting to keep evacuation corridors open. But once you get far enough away from them, they simply go back to ripping apart anything in sight and dragging it underground.”

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary.

Utah voice came through the intercom, “According to the current scientific consensus the klixen are a highly territorial omnivorous species from the planet Tuchanka that primarily lives underground and goes to, quote war unquote, when they detect a rival klixen colony in their territory. The colony’s queen births a warrior whose job is to fight off the invader until the rival queen has died or left their territory. Current behavior fits the observed pattern but at a much larger scale.”

“Does that include biotics and reaper tech?” asked Vega.

“The inclusion of those elements are beyond the scope of current understanding of the species’ behavioral patterns. However, observations point to a symbiotic relationship between klixen and the species known as ‘harvesters’. Cooperation with enhanced thresher maws appears to follow a similar pattern,” Utah said.

“So what do you need from us, general?” I asked.

“Troops, supplies, and shelter for my people. We have to stop them before we can take them out, somehow,” she said.

“I’ll put a priority call to the Prime Minister and the Citadel Council. With luck you should have a few brigades of marines coming your way plus as much humanitarian supplies as the Alliance can muster.”

“Right now that will have to do.” We shook hands again and the general departed.

The intercom blared again. It was Navigator Johnson, “Sir ANN is reporting that four more colonies are under attack. The human colonies of Martel and New Lyons, and two other turian colonies.”

When it rains it pours.

“Why these colonies?” I asked aloud.

Utah replied, “All of these colonies are major agricultural centers. The three human colonies provide over twenty-two percent of all agricultural products within Alliance space. The turian colonies provide thirty-seven percent of all foodstuffs to the Hierarchy.”

Dammit. Wait, I’ve heard of those colonies before.

“Utah, search all mission files for the name of these colonies. Expand your search to include TR-S files as well,” I said.

“One moment. All three human colonies were targeted by batarian extremist and Cerberus forces in recent years.”

“Utah, send all relevant information to the Spectre office on the Citadel under personal encryption and set up a query for any agents that have any relevant information pertaining to our current situation with an emphasis on Cerberus and klixen. Navigator Johnson set a course for New Arcturus.”

“Aye sir.”

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Mass Effect/AEC – ANN News: Magna Records Signs New Artists


From: Alliance News Entertainment Desk

March 1, 2198

Magna Records Signs New Artists

By Joan Calder

MILGROM, BEKENSTIEN – Magna Records, one of the largest multimedia music companies in Citadel space has signed three new acts for the upcoming year:

  • Thespian Dance Theory: A Late 20th Century Retro-Synth Band
  • Druish Space Lazers: Mytho-Latin Orchestra Band
  • Death Trap For Stuky: Death-Industrial Band

Critics have called the increase of human musical acts into the galactic scene the “Second Human Invasion”, a call back to the first such invasion back in 2163 when artist such as the Sahara Rock Stallions, Batchall, Gun-Dakka, and Satori’s Starchasers rocketed to the top of the galactic record charts.

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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 4 (c.4): Interlude


Deck-1 Captain’s Cabin, SSV Kursk SR-3, En Route to the Maroon Sea Mass Relay, Maroon Sea Cluster, May 15, 2198

Miranda laid on top of me as we rested on the couch with my hands on her belly. She was deep into her second trimester with all the joy of swollen ankles stretch marks and constant back pain from three little ones that jockeyed for position inside of her.

“That’s another kick,” I said.

“Yeah.”

“Are you ok babe?”

“I overstayed my welcome,” Miranda said.

I sighed, “We will get you back to Horizon as soon as possible. I’m sure your sister has everything set up for you.”

“She already set up the babies’ room in her place in case we need it.”

“We will, at least at first.”

“Yeah.”

“You sound excited.”

“I’m…frustrated Theo. Five dead ends in the last two months.”

“Don’t forget the grave robbing band of pirates we stumbled across,” I said.

“Yes, the one you stumbled across,” she said.

“Missing the action?”

“More like feeling useless. I can’t go on missions and my contacts are running dry.”

“We got what we needed with tablets. Whatever else we pick up along the way can only help. I’m more worried that we haven’t seen more signs of Cerberus. They got to Tarlom’s data before I did and we don’t know how much of it they managed to decrypt. Whatever they are up to-“

The ship’s intercom blared to life, “Navigator Johnson to Commander Thompson-Ramos.”

“What is it Mr. Johnson?” I asked.

“We have an incoming distress signal coming from the colony of Ludwika, Isseo Cluster. No other Alliance ships in the area,” Johnson said.

I slipped from under Miranda, “On my way to the War Room. Any more details?”

“Not at the moment. Transmission was audio only.”

“Re-broadcast to Alliance command,” I said.

“Already done,” Johnson said.

I kissed Miranda on the cheek, “Care to join me. I can always use a keen and suspicious mind at the ready.”

She smiled, “I’ll catch up in a few minutes.”

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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 3 (c.4): Escalation


Asteroid CB-32147, Outer Asteroid Belt, Knossos System, Artemis Tau Cluster, February 27, 2198

He took the last drag of his fifth cigarette in the last half hour. The data was fragmentary, incomplete but the pattern was clear to see. The others remained skeptical but his intuitive algorithms pointed him in the right direction. Their target was somewhere in salarian space. They needed to flush their game out of hiding without interference.

He lit another cigarette, “Initiate Operation Starfall.”

On approach to the Colony World of Ludwika, Isseo system, Maroon Sea Cluster, April 11, 2198

The thruster detached from the one hundred meter wide nickel-iron asteroid at one hundred and fifty thousand kilometers from its target. It only took a minute for the orbital warning net to track and identify the object.

-New object detected-

-Spectrographic analysis concluded: Nickel-Iron Asteroid-

-Size: 25 meters in diameter-

-Impact trajectory calculated. Impact zone does not pose a threat to colonial habitats at present-

-No other threats detected-

The system listed this new intruder along a half a dozen similar objects that impacted the surface of Ludwika in the last month. The VI failed to notice this uptick in activity. It only knew that none of the asteroids fit its warning parameters. The bulk of the colonists lived within high density urban areas surrounded by agricultural belts. As the asteroid entered the atmosphere the intense heat of re-entry burned away the outer layer of the body. Seconds before impact inertial dampeners kicked in. The impact cracked open the meteor like an egg. From within an armored claw chipped away at the metallic remains. With a high pitched screech the creatures within crawled out of the crater and into the nearby tree line. 

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