The following is excerpted from issue #4 of the Sol Bulletin, an ad hoc news sheet distributed electronically among survivors of the Battle of Earth in the chaotic period following the firing of the Crucible. Issue #4 was released six days after the Crucible fired.
Citadel Search-and-Rescue Operations May Cease
Search-and-rescue operations on the Citadel continue today. Officials and rescue workers have been tight-lipped about conditions on the station, which was under Reaper control for more than a day and which suffered heavy damage when the Crucible was fired. The Bulletin secured an interview with Garrus Vakarian of the Turian Hierarchy, who has been put in charge of the search-and-rescue effort.
SOL BULLETIN: Thank you for speaking with me, Mr. Vakarian. I'll get right to it.
GARRUS VAKARIAN: That would be appreciated.
SB: Can you describe the damage to the Citadel?
GV: No. Not really.
SB: I see. Can you give us any detail at all?
GV: The wards are where we're finding most of the survivors. There's a lot of structural damage, but some people managed to hide in secure places with enough air and food to last till now. Not many. The Presidium... You wouldn't recognize the Presidium.
SB: Any survivors there?
GV: [pause] No.
SB: How long will search-and-rescue operations continue?
GV: I wish I could say as long as it takes, but the fact is we're spending a lot of resources to save very few lives. I've got people on my team who could be doing a lot of good work on Earth or in the fleet. We're also burning fueling ferrying people back and forth.
SB: Does this mean that search-and-rescue operations are going to stop soon?
GV: I didn't say that. We haven't given up yet. But we're looking at what this is costing and what we have, and the arithmetic isn't pretty.
SB: Don't we have a responsibility not to abandon any survivors on the Citadel?
GV: We've got a lot of responsibilities. I've got 20 military engineers working for me. They could probably restore running water to a major metropolitan area on Earth in a few days. Or they could roll the dice on maybe finding one or two more survivors in the same amount of time.
SB: Are the numbers really that bad?
GV: No, not quite. But my team doesn't mess around. We've found all the easy ones and all the big ones. And we're doing our best to find the rest, I promise.
SB: Mr. Vakarian, I understand that you were on the ground for Operation Hammer when the Crucible fired. Can you tell me a little about your experience?
GV: I killed a lot of husks.
GV: Cannibals too. I even took down a Banshee myself. That's what we called the indoctrinated Asari - banshees.
SB: I see. Mr. Vakarian, you were stationed aboard the SSV Normandy for most of the War, and also during the Saren affair.
GV: I went on the assault against the Collector base, too. It's surprising how often humans forget that one, considering Shepard did it for you.
SB: Yes, thank you. As I'm sure you're aware, there have been a great many rumors circulating about the fate of Commander Shepard, who's currently listed as missing in action. Is it true that you were with the Commander on...
GV: [overlapping] Do you have any more questions about search-and-rescue operations?
SB: Mr. Vakarian, Commander Shepard is a beloved figure and people want to know...
GV: [overlapping] Please reassure your readers we're making every effort. Excuse me.
SB: Thank you for your time, Mr. Vakarian.