Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Sol Bulletin #18

The following is excerpted from issue #18 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 #18 was released twenty days after the Crucible fired.

Sol Bulletin Speaks To Major Kaidan Alenko
With the quarantine lifted on the Arcturus Flotilla, all Flotilla ships have rejoined their regular fleets, including the Flotilla's famous flagship, the SSV Normandy. Normandy's current commanding officer, and the commander of the entire Arcturus Flotilla, is Major Kaidan Alenko of the Alliance Marine Corps.

Major Alenko very kindly agreed to speak to the Sol Bulletin about the mission to Arcturus.

SOL BULLETIN: Thank you for speaking with me, Major.

KAIDAN ALENKO: It's my pleasure.

SB: Can you describe how you felt when you heard that the Joyous had rammed the Manila?

KA: Wow, you don't waste time, do you? (long pause) It was pretty devastating, yeah. One minute, you think everything's fine, the next... And we had no idea what had happened. It seemed like it couldn't be real. I've lost soldiers under my command before, lost friends even, but this was something else.

SB: How did you carry on?

KA: Well, that's the job, isn't it? That's what we train for. I guess the training took over. I ordered all ships to break off the activation procedure and maintain station. It was automatic.

SB: How did you first learn about the footage from Joyous' blackbox?

KA: Samantha Traynor, Normandy's com officer, decrypted the flight recorder with... using the ship's computer. So she was the first one to see it, and then she showed it to me privately. It's confusing on first viewing - the angle's not good and the... the perpetrator isn't especially coherent. But we were both thinking the same thing.

SB: Indoctrination.

KA: Yeah.

SB: What did you do?

KA: I decided to share the information with the rest of the Flotilla. I informed the captains and asked them to inform their crews.

SB: Really?

KA: Sure. We were days away from activation and the loss of Manila and Joyous set the work back considerably. I couldn't have people looking over their shoulders wondering what had happened.

SB: You weren't worried about a panic?

KA: Of course I was, but I was mostly afraid there would be a panic if people thought there officers weren't telling them everything.

SB: Given that position, what do you make of the decision to quarantine the Flotilla on your return?

KA: It was a different situation. I only had to worry about a team of military professionals with a job to do. I'm glad the Summit eventually decided to make the information public, but they were right to be careful about how they did it.

SB: I see. Then let me ask you, what do you make of the mystery surrounding Commander Shepard's fate?

KA: The commander is missing in action. If you're insinuating...

SB: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to insinuate. Let me be direct. Were you ordered not to tell anyone what happened to Commander Shepard?

KA: (long pause) No.

SB: Do you know what happened to the Commander?

KA: Look, the fight on the Citadel was chaotic, I couldn't...

SB: The Citadel? (pause) So are you saying Commander Shepard was on the Citadel?

KA: No comment.

SB: Where was the Commander when you last...

KA: Thank you for your time.

SB: No, Major, thank you.

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