Tweet of the Day: Red Mars: This is where we start again
Human Councilor’s Office, Human Embassies, The Presidium, The Citadel, Widow System, Serpent Nebula, August 25, 2197
The C-Sec security team finished their sweep of the office.
“All clear, Councilor,” said the C- Sec team leader.
“Thank you,” replied Councilor Wei-Len.
“Can’t be too careful these days,” I said as the door closed behind the C-Sec officers.
“Not after what happened to you the last time, Commander. Congratulations, it is good to have another human in the Spectres, although I expected more than a sentence about it in the news,” the Councilor said with a grimace.
“I had my fill of the press in the last year. Besides the first quarian Spectre is more newsworthy than the third human Spectre,” I said.
“They earned it,” she pressed a button on her desk. A holographic image of a planet floated before us. “Commander, have you heard about the colony of Libertas?”
“Human colony in the Traverse not officially affiliated with the Systems Alliance and ruled by a charismatic religious autocrat,” I said.
“That is just the tip of the iceberg. Between three to five hundred thousand years ago, dozens of comets rained down on the surface of the planet. The pattern and number of strikes seemed to suggest some sort of deliberate planetary bombardment except that no traces of civilization were found by the geological surveys,” she said.
“Quick and dirty terraforming then?”
“That was the experts conclusion, that and that the primitive plant life on the surface came from a half a dozen worlds in the Argos Rho cluster. Again, without any significant traces of civilization it was hard to tell what happened to the race that tried to terraform Libertas, but they succeeded,” the image changed into an yellowish crystal,”Not only that, they seeded the planet with millions of impact diamonds, the largest deposits in Citadel space.”
“So? It’s not diamonds are hard to come by these days. Any competent lab could whip up a batch of them at a very low price,” I said.
“Yes, if you’re looking to make jewelry or for industrial uses that have very specific tolerances, however,” the image changed again, this time it split in two, one showed the silhouette of a Alliance fighter, the other a frigate of the Normandy class, “the Alliance is seeking to ramp up production of new warships. Fifteen new Normandy class frigates are under construction, over a hundred more missile armed non-stealth frigates are under order and the Alliance expects to field over ten thousands new fighters by the end of this decade. The turians ordered three times as many and all of them will be equipped with Silas alloy armor. We are going to need a lot of diamonds to fill those orders in time.”
“Are they refusing to sell to the Alliance?” I asked.
“No,” the display changed again. It showed the face of a Slavic woman in her late fifties, “However, the recent arrival of one Alana Petrova, until recently the CFO of Weyland-Yutani, has complicated matters.”
“The company that went to war with Czerka over the loss of colony,” I said.
“Correct. Now she has insinuated herself into the Lord Magistrate’s court. Our sources indicate that she has invested billions of credits in local businesses and donated the rest to church run charities in exchange for protection from Alliance law.”
“And that is where a newly minted human Spectre comes in.”
“We need you to bring Ms. Petrova to Alliance justice without endangering the trade negotiations between the Alliance and the Magistrate,” she said.
“Good. There is a ship waiting for you in Bay H-14, the crew has been briefed on the mission.” She shook my hand, “Good luck, Commander.”
I walked out of the office and to the elevator that lead to H-14. A salarian put his hand on the door before it closed.
“Excuse me. Going down?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied.
“Great.” The doors closed behind him, “You are the new human Spectre, correct.”
“And you are?”
“Just a messenger, Commander,” he said.
“Really? From who?”
“From someone who would simply like you to consider all your options before you move to collect your prize,” said the salarian, his eyes focused on the elevator doors.
“Is that so?”
“Yes. You see there are other parties involved in the current situation and they would like to meet you,” he pressed a code sequence on his omni-tool, “Meet their representative on this location on Libertas capital. And if you need to verify this information, please give this comm channel code to the lovely Mrs. Lawson.” The doors opened, “Good day, Spectre and good hunting.”
The salarian exited the elevator and vanished into a crowd of dock workers, passengers and C-Sec security. Before me was the familiar shape of the SSV Kursk SR-3. A whistle sounded the moment my foot touched the inner airlock.
“Attention on deck!” shouted Navigator Johnson, “Council Spectre on board.”
The crew stood in attention on both sides of the aisle.
“At ease,” I said.
Johnson stepped forward, “The crew is ready and awaiting your orders, sir.”
“Set a course for the Argos Rho cluster,” I said.
“Aye aye, sir.”