The following is excerpted from issue #6 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 #6 was released eight days after the Crucible fired.
Arcturus Flotilla Overdue - Could Reapers Be To Blame?
It is now the fourth day since the Arcturus Flotilla jumped through the Charon Relay with the mission of restoring the Relay on the far side, allowing return transit. The process was expected to take up to two days using the new Relay activation procedure developed by Crucible scientists. No ships or communications have come back through the Relay, and authorities and experts are unwilling to rule out any possibilities about the Flotilla's fate - including surviving Reapers.
Admiral Hackett issued a statement urging calm. "We're monitoring the situation very closely," he said. "The Flotilla has been gone longer than expected, but we're still within mission parameters. We still expect them back anytime, but we're preparing contingencies to meet any eventuality."
The Sol Bulletin went to Luna to talk to Dr. Liara T'Soni, an Asari Prothean expert who played an integral role in developing the new Relay activation procedure. Dr. T'Soni said that any number of factors might be causing a delay. "The Arcturus Relay might require a slightly different activation process than the Charon Relay, or perhaps more power. Or, the delay might have nothing to do with the Relay. Beyond the best estimates of Crucible scientists, we have very little information about what happened outside the Sol system when the Crucible fired. It's even remotely possible there are still active Reapers elsewhere in the galaxy, and the Flotilla may have encountered one."
Dr. Tsoni emphasized that, to the best of her knowledge, the Crucible should have affected all Reapers in range of the Relay network and that the odds of an active Reaper being present in Arcturus are very small. Echoing Admiral Hackett, she said she expects the Arcturus Flotilla back at any moment. "I don't want to provoke a panic, and I don't believe there's cause for one. Nonetheless, we should keep in mind the human expression." Which expression? "'Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.'"