Recruiting Garrus


We find Garrus in the medical center, dealing with some thugs. He takes a crack shot at one of them, taking him down while narrowly avoiding the doctor the thug was holding hostage. I complimented him on the shot. I figure he must be experienced enough to know whether to take a shot like that. No sense second-guessing him. Still, I think that’s what earned me some Renegade points. Lame; I have to reprimand him for doing what he thinks best with his skills?

In general, I am sticking with paragon choices. They just seem like the ones that usually fit with me the best.

Emily Wong


This is Emily Wong, the good investigative reporter. She really just wants news regarding the Citadel.

I feel a little odd about taking side-quests from various people, at least at this point. I mean, I’m not even a Spectre yet. Why would the commander of a ship offer to take on these random side-quests? I guess Shepard could be doing them out of the goodness of his heart, but presumably he has other obligations that prevent him from remaining around the Citadel or gallivanting around the galaxy on random quests for people. Then again, perhaps I know nothing about the restrictions on a person at his level of command.

I still find it a little bit odd, even when he finally becomes a Spectre. It seems like he would be constantly busy doing quests for the Council.

Harkin


As is traditional, every “cop” story must have at least one visit to a strip club of some type. Now, this bar is not a strip club, to my understanding, but they do have at least one dancing girl. Close enough to satisfy my rabid obsession for categorization.


This is Harkin.

Forget him for a moment.

On the way into the bar, I was attacked by an assassin. No explanation for why; it just happens. I guess they might have been sent by Saren, but the game does not address it unless I missed a passing line of dialogue.

Anyway, Harkin here gives me a lead for finding Garrus.

Saren’s Mock Trial


Showing off the Council again, now that we can see them in full color. I wonder how long they have served on the Council. What are the prereqs for being elected? How do they decide whether to add another race to the Council?


Saren gets summoned. The conversation can be summed up as…
Plaintiffs: Saren, you have done terrible things!
Saren: Prove it.
Plaintiffs: We can’t…
Saren: Okay, see you all later. *disconnects*

It’s funny in a sad sort of way.


But does Shepard give up? No sir! Not going to let a little thing like a closed case stop him from further investigating.

Seriously, I do not quite get how their judicial system works. So, is the case actually closed? This seemed extremely casual for a tribunal.

Initial Citadel Exploration


I feel a bit bad about doing computer decryption in this game. After all, Shepard is a military commander; this sort of unauthorized investigation seems wrong. However, as a player, I am too intrigued by the rewards of investigation to ignore these things.


For example, by decrypting this first computer, I got a lead on a side quest. I do not know whether this quest would even be open if I had not gone hacking.


The game’s first example of Virtual Intelligence (VI) is Avina. The Avinas are handy VIs found on the Citadel which can fill in the player about nifty things. I enjoy closing my eyes and just listening to the speech; relaxing, especially with the background music.

VI is an interesting concept because it is distinct from AI. As I understand it, AI is true artificial intelligence. VI means that they seem intelligent, but they are not actually intelligent; no free will. This is perhaps a common theme in science fiction, dating back at least to Isaac Asimov. Fair enough – it’s a concern today. What happens when we make machines so intelligent that they cannot be distinguished from human intelligence? The general answer for science fiction appears to be that people of the future will develop AI and learn their mistake when something horrible happens. I guess that happened here, but the Geth are an interesting exception, a VI that became an AI.


Before getting to speak with the Council, I meet Garrus for the first time. That device on his face is a nice touch. Well-meaning guy, but he could not get a good lead on Saren.


The Citadel Tower is pretty. Interesting to see trees growing inside a space station.

I actually did some more exploration of the Citadel at this point, but the pictures did not save properly. I met the jellyfish people, which look slightly phallic. And the squat economist race that wears the full body suits. There are at least two races in this game which walk around completely armored the entire time.

I have not bought anything in the citadel yet. Everything looks too pricy.

Preparing to meet the Council


The ship pulls into the Citadel, which is quite pretty. I could hang that image on a wall.



Ambassador Udina, Captain Anderson, and Shepard meet with the council briefly to give them the heads-up about Saren. A formal meeting concerning the findings will be held soon. However, it’s obvious that the meeting will go poorly. No wonder. We have little evidence and I would not expect a Spectre to be easy to trace. With their ability to break laws whenever they want, they could give some grizzly orders to cover their trails.

I do find that a bit silly, by the way. The Spectres can break any law? Why do they need to be invested with that much power? That seems like it would anger a lot of races, particularly the non-council races. I know the council races are “in charge”, but I would expect the non-council races to band together against the council about this point. I would imagine the council would relent on the matter of total immunity from laws.

Chasing Saren


Saren finds out about Shepard activating the Prothean artifact and becomes angry. What I don’t get… why didn’t he just destroy the Prothean artifact? Throw a grenade at it? The object was clearly destructible. If he did not want anybody to get access to it, he could have done that. Maybe it has shields or something, but the game never addresses it.


Shepard awakens after the events at Eden Prime. He is in good shape, but now it is time to have a word with Captain Anderson.



Captain Anderson and Shepard talk for a little bit. The plan is to go after Saren. In particular, they are going to go visit the Citadel and making their case to the Council that Saren is a villain. Unfortunately, they have very little to go on. Shepard never actually encountered Saren on Eden. He just heard about him from a single dock worker. Not going to be an easy case to make against a Spectre. Come to think of it, I do not recall who exactly told Shepard that it was specifically Saren who was planetside.