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ANN: Timeline with Richard Garrett
ANN Central Studios, Vancouver, North American Union
Richard Garrett: Welcome back to the program. We continue our interview with Mr. Jatak, spokesperson for the Batarian Assembly. Mr. Jatak, why do you say to those critics who fear that by granting support to your group the Council is taking sides in a batarian civil war? After all, the Council has stayed away from intervening in the asari conflict, a conflict involving one of the Council’s founding races, why should they treat the batarians any differently?
Jatak: The situations are very different, Richard. The situation in asari space is fluid, with multiple groups claiming leadership from one moment to the next. Every attempt by the Council to set up negotiations has failed because there is no unified entity to negotiated with. Council negotiators have literally come under fire by multiple factions in that conflict. The Assembly brings together the many voices of the batarian diaspora and welcomes Council help, in its many forms, from technical advisers to policy experts, with the understanding that any decision ultimately rests on the hands of the batarian people.
Richard Garrett: Still, as you said, their are factions that are opposed to the Assembly’s agenda. Many of them hold Balak, the man responsible for the attempt against Terra Nova, as a sort of messianic symbol, a representative of what batarians should aspire to.
Jatak: Balak was a coward and a fool. Do you know what he did the moment the Battle of Earth was over? He turned around our remaining warships, including the last dreadnought, and went straight back to Khar’shan, calling on every batarian refugee to join him in reclaiming our home world. Thousands of ships followed, most of them civilians and guess what happened? They “caught” the Reapers retreating from our world. A paltry hundred or so damaged, outdated warships, with thousands of civilian craft in tow ran head long into a Reaper fleet, again, without any allies. The result? The Reapers opened fire on the fleet as they jumped into of the system. Each Reaper warship destroyed dozens of ships, military and civilian alike. Thousands, perhaps ten of thousands died over the skies of our home world and Balak? He rammed the dreadnaught against a Reaper. At least he died in the process.
Richard Garrett: Sounds very much like what happened to the quarians on Rannoch?
Jatak: The situations are similar, but not the same. The difference is that quarians chose peace at the right time. Sadly, the outliers among us have not. The quarians have not only resettled Rannoch, but welcomed the geth back into the fold, and now are poised to become a full member race of the Council. In spite of the bloody history between the quarians and their creations, they managed through supreme effort on their part and the full support of the galactic community to rise above that history. And speaking of the quarians, I’m happy to read to you this message I received on my way to the studio from their government:
(The image changes to show words in white letters on the screen. Jatak reads them aloud.)
The quarian people pledge our full support to the batarian cause. We know, like few others, the pain of a people without a homeland and the burden imposed by past transgressions. Therefore, we will make available the full resources of the Merchant Fleet to the rebuilding of Kar’shan and the restoration of the batarian people. All species deserve the right of redemption, rebirth and freedom. Keelah se’lai.
Richard Garrett: That is a powerful statement of support, but the fact remains that retaking Khar’shan will take an army.
(Images of long lines at Assembly recruiting stations pop up on screen).
An army that by some reports is already fighting in places like Lorek. Are the batarians willing to kill one another to achieve their goals? Is this not another civil war?
Jatak: We have and continue to invite our brothers and sisters to lay down their arms, abandon the old ways of thinking and join us in restoring the batarian people’s place in the galaxy. However, it would be negligent of us to ignore the suffering of our brethren under the yoke of dictators. Worst still fail to stand up to terrorists. Sadly, all species in Council space have faced similar problems. For example, the turians faced down separatists and the Alliance regularly fought against supremacists groups like Cerberus and Neo-Terra. We can only hope that these individuals open their eyes and chose peaceful discussion over violent action.
Richard Garrett: What about Khar’shan? Reports indicate that it is still infected by the remnants of the Reaper invasion.
Jatak: Those reports are accurate, and we are preparing to deal with them when the time comes.
Richard Garrett: Well that is all the time we have for now. If you wish to know more about the Batarian Assembly, you can go to our extranet site click on Timeline:Batarian Assembly. You can also post your questions about this and other subjects to Mr. Jatak on our extranet forums. After the break we will talk to our panel of experts about this and other news of the week.