Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sol Bulletin #28

The following is excerpted from issue #28 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 #28 was released thirty days after the Crucible fired.

Shepard Alive On Luna

A sparsely attended press conference called by the team that will attempt treatment of two indoctrinated individuals from Earth was the scene of unexpected drama today, when Commander Jenna Shepard surprised reporters and event staff by walking onstage and taking the podium.

The Commander was visibly unwell. She was pale and haggard and her hands shook as she stood before the small crowd of reporters. When she spoke, however, her voice had the firm and decided tone familiar across the galaxy from countless interviews and ubiquitous Alliance recruitment vids.

"I need to say something," the Commander said into the microphone. "Miranda Lawson and Kasumi Goto are good people. They're heroes. They should be released at once, or if they're really indoctrinated they should be sent here for treatment."

Reporters started to shout questions; some rushed forward toward the podium and had to be restrained by local police officers on hand at the event. Meanwhile, Commander Shepard was hurried out of the room by Dr. Liara T'Soni, the scientist scheduled to speak at the conference.

News of Shepard's brief appearance was at first met by widespread skepticism, but after a video taken by an alert journalist hit the extranet doubt was quickly replaced by rampant speculation. Local authorities on Luna denied any knowledge of the Commander's presence; Lt. Chris Larson, a spokesman for Alliance High Command, admitted that the Alliance had sponsored the indoctrination treatment program but denied that Command had known Commander Shepard was there.

Nobody from the indoctrination treatment team could not be reached for comment. Eyewitnesses noted that Shepard's arrival seemed to surprise Dr. T'Soni, but that Dr. T'Soni's speed in assisting the Commander offstage suggested she was not completely shocked.

An Alliance special forces team was deployed to the facility housing the team and has cordoned off the area. Nobody has been seen coming in or out since.

Shepard's sudden appearance, and the Alliance's apparent complicity in her disappearance, created a political firestorm. Representatives from Earth-based nations walked out of the Inter-species Summit in protest to what President Lisa Ford called "conspiratorial and frankly tyrranous behavior from our so-called friends in the Alliance." Meanwhile, the Asari, Turian and Geth fleets hastily cooperated to deploy a large force to close orbit over Luna. Primarch Victus explained the move on the floor of the Summit, saying all three fleets, together with the Krogan ground forces, were prepared to take drastic steps to rescue Commander Shepard from Alliance custody if her welfare seemed to be in any doubt.

Primarch Victus specifically called on the Quarians to join their newfound Turian and Geth allies, but the Quarian Admiralty Board is reportedly deadlocked on how to react to the new development

No official has been willing to comment on the question of what Commander Shepard is doing at an indoctrination treatment facility, or on whether Commander Shepard was or is indoctrinated.

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