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Mass Effect/AEC: Chapter 3 (c.3)-Testimony


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Tweet of the Day: NaNoWriMo Hath Started!

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Parliamentary Conference Room 3, New Arcturus Station, Arcturus, Arcturus Stream, June 4, 2197

Two weeks passed since the beginning of the hearings into Thompson-Ramos Security. A two week long parade of military officers, civilian officials and experts that spouted reams of dry data and engaged in much navel gazing. Each speaker sought to give the blandest answers to the most innocuous questions, careful not to give the other side an opening for a political attack or score points in the court of public opinion. Then came my turn. Commander Rissi Montoya sat beside me as my legal counsel on the witness table. Several committee members asked me about my time with T-R Security, my views on the current situation in the Traverse/Terminus region, and about the stability of human holdings therein.

Committee chairman Thu Van Thieu came last, “Commander, this committee has analyzed every piece of relevant data related to the financing and operations of one Thompson-Ramos Security, which you lead as,” he made an air quotes gesture, “as a colonel. You ostensibly did all of this for a decade under orders of the Alliance Military, correct?”

“Yes chairman, that is correct,” I said.

“Yet, in the last two weeks we have heard nor seen evidence that you were aware of the massive military presence of the terrorist group known as Cerberus, correct?”

“No one picked up on the Cerberus presence,” I said.

“So you admit that you failed in your mission to protect Alliance interest in the region?” he asked with a furrowed brow.

“I would not catalog our operations in the region as a failure. We stopped or derailed a dozen of pirate raids, enhanced the defenses of multiple colonies and helped stabilized the region,” I said.

“Stabilized the region? How stable is a region where a batarian mercenary group can launch a successful bombing raid in broad daylight that lead to the deaths of some of the most important business leaders in Alliance space?”

“Chairman-”

“How many raids did you stop before engaging in a intimate relationship with Cerberus former second in command?”

“Excuse me?”

Rissi put a hand on my forearm and whispered in my ear, “Easy tiger.”

I cleared my throat, “I fail to see the relevance of my personal life to the subject at hand,”

“The relevance? The relevance is that you failed, commander.  You failed to detect a  massive Cerberus force to grown under your nose. You failed to stop it from launching an rebellion in a key world in the Terminus systems which cost nearly five hundred Alliance lives and countless more lives of the people of Chav? So, I ask again, what exactly were you doing out there, commander?”

Minister Cele spoke up in a deep and clear voice, “Minister, he and my daughter were saving lives.”

Thieu slammed the gavel, “The Minister from the African Union already had her turn.”

Unperturbed she continued, “A little over a year ago, a joint turian/human force stopped a batarian terrorist fleet at the Imri relay. Said fleet was armed with a deadly biological agent designed to kill humans. In said battle, many lives were lost, including the life of my daughter and in the process saved thousands if not millions of humans lives.”

Thieu banged the gavel repeatedly, “That is not within the purview of these hearings.”

“Why not, minister? You asked what exactly I was doing in the last ten years and Minister Cele just provided the answer,” I said.

“You are out of order! The minister’s words will be stricken from the record! The media will leave the room immediately!”

Thieu continued to issue a stream of orders while abusing his gavel to the breaking point. A dozen auto-cams captured every bead of sweat on his forehead, every drop of spittle that flew of his mouth, and my nod to Minister Cele.

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