Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sol Bulletin #22

The following is excerpted from issue #22 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 #22 was released twenty four days after the Crucible fired.

Sol Bulletin Exclusive: Recovered Video Shows Commander Shepard On The Citadel

Shortly after the arrest of Kasumi Goto, the rogue broadcaster who operated under the Persephone, the Sol Bulletin received an email, apparently written by Goto and programmed to send on a time-delay if she failed to check in and stop it. The email contained a video file attachment and claimed that the video in question was security footage from the Citadel that had been recovered by search-and-rescue teams and hidden by the Alliance.

Sol Bulletin reporters have spent the last several days investigating and attempting to verify this footage. We spoke to a number of video and data experts and asked them to confirm if this footage was indeed from the Citadel and whether or not it had been altered. All our experts agreed on the following basic information:

  1. The footage was marked as coming from the Citadel during the Battle of Earth.
  2. There was no reason to believe the time and place indicators had been altered.
  3. The footage had been enhanced for better audio and image quality.
  4. There was no reason to believe the audio or image content had been significantly altered.
All our experts emphasized that, in a galaxy of AI and quantum computing, no video can ever be 100% authenticated. However, none of them found anything to suggest that the footage you are about to watch has been in any way altered.

[Video not available in this archive.]

The video shows the meeting chamber of the Citadel Council. The image is grainy and slightly off-kilter. Standing on the dais reserved for Council petitioners is Commander Shepard, her face clearly visible, the N7 on her Alliance-blue armor plainly visible. She's in the middle of speaking, and seems to say (the audio is more degraded than the video) "-to end. It never ends." There's movement at the edge of the screen; a barely visible figure standing at the bottom of the dais replies, "Shepard, you've done the impossible over and over again. You saved my life... you-". 

The figure is apparently Quarian, and though a positive identification is impossible to make, the words "you saved my life" suggest that the figure might be Admiral Tali'Zorah vas Rannoch of the Migrant Fleet, who took part in Operation Hammer and whose history with Shepard is well-documented.

Admiral Zorah declined to comment for this story. So did Major Kaidan Alenko, who was with Shepard earlier in the Battle of Earth, and Garrus Vakarian, another of Shepard's known associates who has fought alongside Admiral Zorah. The Alliance responded to requests for comment by attempting to raid the Sol Bulletin offices in London, which had been preemptively relocated.

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