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"The Ghosts of Antilin" Text-Based Assignment (COMPLETE)

User-centric area to discuss ideas and request mods. Toolset modders may also float ideas for new mods here; if pursued, the thread can be relocated to Mods in Development.

"The Ghosts of Antilin" Text-Based Assignment (COMPLETE)

Postby Sil » 25 Jul 2016, 22:44

This is an idea for how to add the Virtual Aliens from the Cerberus News Network stories to the game. With this I’m trying to do it subtly, as they aren’t a massive part of the lore but I found the story surrounding them to be utterly fascinating and I always wanted to know what happened to them, and now I’m making it up! Here are the guidelines I’m going to try to stick to for this:

1) No Fighting Missions
2) No conversations
3) A build up that is slow but hopefully interesting, that takes place over the duration of a chunk of the game
4) Story told through use of Emails, and also the Broker and Spectre Terminals
5) War Assets must be added, either negative, positive or both
6) Diverse paths through the story


I want to gradually tease the idea of these being added to the game but to start off with an email that feels, at first, like it is a random bit of lore or content that doesn’t appear to go anywhere. It gives a slow start that some people might miss if they don’t pay much attention to the emails but that is fine, it’ll be their loss!

I will also say that I would love to design this to include actual content in the form of conversations, and having the ability to meet one of the Virtual Aliens, or to see them on the Citadel. However, it’s obvious how difficult such things are even after all these years of research into ME3 modding, let alone finding voice actors good enough to justify it. It’ll have to be one of those “if only” things, although if it one day becomes easier I may write an alternate version of this to cover actual conversations. Also bear in mind that I don’t know the plot bools that would match up to these, it’s a work in progress but I’m very keen on what I’ve written so far, though I’m always open to constructive criticism, or to ideas for how to expand it in new ways. Obviously since this is adding an extension to the Cerberus News Network story, it won't be perfect nor will it be 100% loreful, but I've really attempted to stick to something that feels plausible as much as I possibly could.

Another thing to bear in mind is that I’ve written this for the fun of it, and also for practice as I’ve never had to write something that can go in so many directions, nor told through emails and terminal choices. It’s all very new to me, but I’ve found it really fun. :). I hope you enjoy it too.


Part One

Spoiler:
The Email will be from a conspiracy nut or group, it’s one of those group emails that everyone gets so this one is not targeted at Commander Shepherd specifically. It will provide some information about the Virtual Aliens but through a lens of skepticism and disbelief. I want the player to doubt the possibility of them just a little, even if they already know through downloading the mod that there is content added for this alien race. This Email would appear in the inbox just after the Mars mission. Here is an example of what I am going for:

Email
Those “Ghosts of Antilin”


From: CitSpaceTruth.net

The date is 08/11/2185CE, the news of the day: Alien AI-Controlled Ship Makes Contact in Salarian Space. We all swallowed this news with sweaty anticipation. Would this lead to yet another war with Synthetics? It was a prospect that we all feared after the Battle of the Citadel three years ago, and still fear to this day.

Our fears were not realised on this occasion. We were told that this so-called Ark had been travelling for 8,000 years, that it held a billion people living in a computer world. That’s one billion Virtual Aliens, and not to mention that they supposedly had tech so advanced it made ours look like we’ve barely discovered fire. Should I mention that they were able to swap minds with living researchers, and that they claimed asylum in Citadel Space? 400 individuals volunteered their bodies for a few of these aliens to leave their ship and live a new life in the real world.

Since that day we’ve heard nothing. There has been no follow-up interviews, no reports, no ship sightings and the Council have been silent. They respond to no questions on them at all! Where is the Ark of Antilin? Where is the advanced technology that the galaxy was promised? Where are the Ghosts who left this ship, taking the bodies of men and women who prostituted themselves for their benefit?

They never existed! They never have! It’s a ruse by the elite who want to placate the populace as they embark on their plans offer the Geth an embassy on the Citadel. They want to replace your job with that of artificial labour. Do you want Geth building your ships, serving your drinks, delivering your shopping to the door? No! Write now to your local Councillor. Be heard! Use your mind and don’t accept Council propaganda!


Once you get this, nothing happens until Priority: Palaven is completed.


Part Two

Spoiler:
After receiving this email you hear nothing at all about this until after Priority: Palaven is completed. The next part of the chain of events that leads to the Virtual Aliens appearing is found at the Spectre Terminal. This will be a request that seemingly has nothing at all to do with the Virtual Aliens and will hopefully be viewed as just a random spectre terminal request. However, although it seems to have nothing to do with the Virtual Aliens, it will be important and without confirming this Spectre Request, nothing else happens.

Research into VI Drones using Omni-Tool Technology

The Geth assault on the Citadel three years ago played havoc with Synthetic Insights Ltd’s reputation and profits. After years of poor publicity the company is looking to return to being a name that is recognised and respected for their work. To this end they have petitioned to the Council to allow them to create VI Drones using the latest Omni-Tool technology. Unlike most VI’s these would feature hard-light holograms, much like the omni-tools, and would be used as a support and combat asset in the war against the Reapers. Due to the conflict, or perhaps their reputation, the petition has been “lost”. Your influence could push this back onto the table, potentially saving Synthetic Insights Ltd.


Choose No: An email later on, or a news message should voice acting be done, says that Synthetic Insights Ltd has been bought out by the Serrice Technology Corporation after going bankrupt. The quest towards the Virtual Aliens goes no further.

Email
ANN Alert: New Article on “Synthetic Insights Ltd”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

This is a sad day for artificial technology research firm Synthetic Insights as their CEO has been forced to declare his company bankrupt. Many of the staff who have spoken to ANN have told of their fears over their jobs, and it is believed by many analysts and economists that there will be many redundancy’s declared by the end of the day.

In a bold move, Serrice Technology has declared interest in acquiring the company to join its ever-growing corporate umbrella. This has not come as a shock to many, as the corporation has bought nearly a dozen research companies since the Reaper War began. With the announcement the companies’ stock price has almost doubled but Synthetic Insights has yet to comment on the development.


Followed by:

Email
ANN Alert: New Article on “Synthetic Insights Ltd”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

In an update to our earlier story, Synthetic Insights Ltd has been sold to the mega-corporation Serrice Technology. The company had attempted to stay afloat and secure a loan to keep the business running but when that failed they had to make half their staff redundant.

When speaking to Serrice Technology earlier today, they told ANN that they make no promises over employing the rest of their staff, but will look into what research can put into use.


Choose Yes: A War Asset is gained, a news story is said/email received and the story towards the Virtual Aliens continues on to Part Three.

Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Synthetic Insights Ltd”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Synthetic Insights has announced early success in the first tests of their, until recently, classified project; Omni-VI Soldiers. These tools were deployed to the battlefields of Palaven where they provided covering fire and medical aid to the Turians desperately fighting to hold their homeworld. One Turian Soldier had this to say:

“It was a shock at first, I thought I’d lost my mind when Avina asked me if I wanted her to lay down covering fire. It wasn’t until that evening that I discovered she wasn’t Avina at all but one of these new Omni-VI’s. Good shot though, I’ll be sure to thank her next time I’m at the Citadel.”

We have reached out to Turian Primarch Victus but have yet to have had a reply, but sources say that he is mulling over further tests of this new weapon against the Reapers. Unfortunately not all have seen this new research as a positive, many anti-AI groups have challenged the legality of the research and have labelled it everywhere from “potentially devastating” to “a flagrant breech of Citadel Law.”


Followed by:

Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Palaven”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Only days after Synthetic Insights Ltd. field tested their new holographic soldiers on Palaven, the Turian Hierarchy has put in a request for more of them to be deployed on Palaven and their colonies.

Although initially skeptical, Primarch Victus has commended the company for their research and has placed an order for more that our sources have listed as ‘significant’ in size. ANN has reached out to Councillor Udina about whether the Omni-VI Soldiers will be deployed on Earth and her colonies, but we have received no comment on the matter.

This rides on a wave of good news for Synthetic Insights Ltd. who have seen a shocking u-turn to their fortunes, including the tripling of their stock prices and many orders for Omni-VI for private buyers.


After getting these, you get the following War Asset.

War Asset: Listed Under Alliance
Omni-VI Soldiers
Military Strength:
+10

Synthetic Insights Ltd. are one of only four companies that have been given permission to study artificial intelligence under controlled circumstances. Although suffering poorly in recent years due to an increase in anti-synthetic sentiments across the galaxy, their latest technological development has changed their fortunes for the better. The Omni-VI Soldiers are programmed to lay down covering fire for injured soldiers, apply medi-gel to their wounds and signal for recovery. Though easy to destroy, these have proven valuable on many battlefields.


Part Three

Spoiler:
This part is relatively simple and actually returns to an obvious connection to the Virtual Aliens, this time it is the addition of the Cerberus News Network articles that deal directly with them. Many players would likely have missed them during Mass Effect 2, and all newish players will have for certain, so this should introduce them to the concept pretty damn nicely. There are two problems; Why would those suddenly appeared and how will they appear? I believe I have an answer to those.

Part Three should take place after Priority: Sur’kesh, Salarian’s there reveal some of their devious operations (the Yahg studies and potential uplifting being a good example), so it makes sense that there could be information to glean from their databanks. I’d love to put a data-pad here which points to Antilin, but that could be too much work, so instead I’m opting for an email received after you complete the mission. This Email will come from EDI, where she will mention that she came across the word while hacking the Salarian data-banks as they fought through the base.

Email
An Unexpected Find


From: EDI

Shepherd,

While you were caught up in the fighting on Sur’kesh, I took the time to dig into the bases’ files with the hope of securing them instead of allowing potentially vital information from falling into the hands of Cerberus. Though I failed to save all the data, I have discovered an anomalous word hidden deep within the file structure. It appears as if the scientists there had attempted to scrub it clean from the records but were not as thorough as they had supposed. The word in question is:

“Antilin”

It matches no word that I have encountered and it is unclear if it is a place name, a noun, verb or pronoun. I am running a search through Council and Alliance records, as well as the extranet. So far I have yielded nothing on this topic. I shall update you with what I find, if I find anything.

-EDI


Once you receive this email we hear nothing again until the main Tuchunka mission is completed, at which point we get an email saying;

Email
The Word “Antilin”


From: EDI

Shepherd,

After scanning through 251,923,596 files I managed to locate redacted data in relation to the word “Antilin” and its usage. My research would have been completed sooner had Joker not been encouraging me to research other matters. Here is what I have discovered:

Antilin is a star-system in Salarian occupied space, it is little known and seems to have little strategic value, but there is more interesting information that deals with this sector. The following news articles are from the now defunct Cerberus News Network, and while their integrity as journalists is scant, there are corroborating conspiracy theories that date back to the time that these news articles were published.

I should mention that you should view this information with a grain of salt (Joker has encouraged my use of idioms, I am yet to fully grasp them), conspiracy theories rarely feel linked to reality and are often the product of over-active imaginations or are a symptom of mental instability.

However, please note that there is a gap in the Galaxy Map where Antilin should be. Using astrophysics equations I have discovered that there is evidence that there are anomalies in the vicinity of the area. Please note that this is not uncommon, our knowledge of the galaxy is not as advanced as we like to believe it is.

-EDI


This is then followed by the news articles from the Cerberus News Network years ago and are the place where my love of the idea of the Virtual Aliens emerged from. I found it fascinating seeing the news develop over time, hopefully reading these will interest the readers of this design document as well. Once you read the first article, be sure to click Next at the bottom of it, as that will take you to the next section. There are about 8 of them, I think.

http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Cerberus_Daily_News_-_August_2010#08.2F11.2F2010_-_Alien_AI-Controlled_Ship_Makes_Contact_in_Salarian_Space

Nothing now happens until after Priority: Rannoch is done. This is where it ramps up in speed. Because of how extensive this split will be, I’ve split Part 4 into Part 4-A and Part 4-B. The “A” Path follows the story should you Save the Quarians and Doom the Geth, while the “B” Path covers both Saving Geth/Doom Quarians and Peace Between Geth and Quarians. There may one day be a Part 4-C, with the “C” Path covering the way that would be best to see, including voice acting and such. As it would take a great deal of work, and likely undoable, I’ll leave a space to design it at a later date.

I will post these up as they are completed, I am close to finishing them all, but not quite there yet.
Last edited by Sil on 26 Aug 2016, 10:22, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: "The Ghosts of Antilin" Text-Based Assignment (WIP)

Postby Sil » 25 Jul 2016, 22:44

Part Four-A

This part is where the storyline actually kicks into gear and we get to see things developing at a faster rate. As said before, this follows the story if you chose to save the Quarians and wipe out the Geth. If you choose this option then the Virtual Alien assignment storyline will not go any further for the player. This is because those who would seek Shepherd’s aid will fear that he will destroy the Virtual Aliens rather than helping them. In this option the Salarian’s tear apart the Ark for their experiments, yielding new technologies to bolster their efforts in the Reaper War. However, this option does yield War Assets so those players who choose the option are not unfairly punished, it also has extensive story told through Emails, the Shadow Broker Terminal and the Spectre Terminal. It starts with an email.

Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Cerberus”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Another death has been added to the toll collected during Cerberus’ failed coup. A shuttle was discovered drifting aimlessly close to the Wards and the only occupant has been identified as Dr. Jordan Detweiler, he was confirmed as dead on the scene. No word has been given on the cause of death but there are unconfirmed reports of the ship trailing smoke as it drifted. It is believed that the ship was shot early on in the coup and has only just reached the Citadel after weeks of drifting through space.

Dr. Jordan Detweiler was well-respected throughout the scientific community for his expert analysis during first contact scenarios and his theories regarding the cultural changes in species when they first join the galactic community. In the past two years very little has been heard from him, and he had been presumed missing on an expedition. He leaves behind a wife, and a daughter, the controversial campaigner Kyra Detweiler.


You then receive the following War Asset:

War Asset: Listed for the Systems Alliance
Dr. Jordan Detweiler
Military Strength:
-1

Famed human Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has been found dead on a shuttle floating near to the Citadel.


Immediately after this the Spectre Terminal gets an update, this is similar to the other spectre terminal message where you have to say yes or the quest chain finishes. If you say no, then later on you’ll get the Pilot Training Simulator and Kinetic City-Shield Batteries War Assets.

Dr. Jordan Detweiler’s Autopsy

Kyra Detweiler, the daughter of famed Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, has demanded the body of her father be released into her custody for cremation. She also wishes to have the results of his autopsy and all relevant data from the investigation into his death. Ms. Detweiler has been an outspoken critic of Salarian scientific studies, and she is poised to blame them for her father’s death. Releasing his body and this information could harm Salarian relations should she openly accuse them of assassinating him, but it could bring peace to a grief-stricken family.


Choose No: As said, this leads to a dead-end in terms of the Virtual Aliens. The assignment has one more email and then ends there.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Cerberus”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Weeks ago we reported on the death of Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, and today C-Sec have revealed further details on the case and the cause of death. C-Sec Commander Bailey had this to say:

“When Dr. Detweiler’s shuttle was discovered, we found scarring near to its engines and the craft itself lacked life support. Our initial assessment was that he died due to this, but our investigation has concluded that the doctor committed suicide. We can only presume this came when he discovered that no help was coming for him. We lay the blame on the terrorist organisation Cerberus, one death on top of scores of others.”

ANN has reached out to the family who have declined to comment at this time.


Choose Yes: This leads on a bit further, starting with another email, then another Spectre Terminal and then ending in a final email and the collection of War Assets.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Dr. Detweiler”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

In a shock press conference this afternoon, Kyra Detweiler, who is an outspoken critic of the Salarian government, has told the galaxy that she believes the Salarian Union assassinated her father. The last time Dr. Jordan Detweiler was seen in public was during the time when the Ghost Ship of Antilin arrived and caused a media furore two years ago, but nothing has been heard since other than rumours that it was an elaborate hoax. Kyra Detweiler disagrees.

“My father devoted years to that damned ghost ship, it and the Salarians stole him away from his family for two years as he chased his passion and his dream. We heard nothing from him; first they swapped a fresh mind into his and then when he finally regained it from those Virtual Aliens, he disappears to some secret base with the Salarians! They have been redacting information on it ever since the ship vanished. Look it up for yourselves, all the news articles about the Virtual Aliens are gone. He knew too much and they killed him. I will prove it, and his research.”

She went on to elaborate further, saying that she has evidence from the investigation that shows that navigation on the shuttle pointed to an exit from the Mass Relay days after the Cerberus coup attempt, and that other evidence had been destroyed. She believes there are missives, emails and vids that she has been blocked from receiving since his initial disappearance two years ago.

ANN reached out to the Salarian Councillor who had only this to say on the matter:

“Preposterous.”


This gives an updated War Asset, and some other ones too:

War Asset: Listed for the Systems Alliance
Dr. Jordan Detweiler (Update)
Military Strength:
-5

Famed human Exo-biologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has been found dead on a shuttle floating near to the Citadel. Though first reports suggested that the man committed suicide, his outspoken daughter Kyra Detweiler has accused the Salarians of killing him in a cover-up over the Ghost Ship of Antilin, sparking anti-alien protests in Systems Alliance territories. The Exo-biologist had not been seen for the past two years and had been presumed missing.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Pilot Training Simulator
Military Strength:
+5

The Salarians have built a revolutionary training simulator for their fighter pilots that reduces the time spent educating them from months down to weeks. This development has allowed the Salarians to replenish their lost pilots at swifter rate, in turn improving the security of their worlds and ships.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Kinetic City-Shield Batteries
Military Strength:
+15

Recent breakthroughs in the fields of power conservation technology has given the Salarians an increased chance of survival now that they can field immense kinetic barriers that cover their smaller towns and colonies. Reports have suggested that they can sustain themselves against multiple attacks by Reaper ships, though they quickly break under a sustained assault. These barriers should save countless innocent lives on their worlds by protecting them as they board refugee ships. The Salarian Union has not chosen to share this technology with the rest of the galaxy.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Cerebral Storage Device
Military Strength:
+5

An experimental device has been created by the Salarians that they claim captures the mind of a dying person, ready to implant their consciousness into a flash clone body. Though temperamental in nature at this time, further refinements have been completed on the second generation of this device, it is not yet ready to test. A number of soldiers of the STG and Salarian Scientists caught in the Reaper War have been brought back this way.


A Spectre Terminal message follows this afterwards, but first there is a Shadow Broker message which will help influence the player in the right direction if they spot it. The Shadow Broker terminal message will be first, and then the Spectre one is immediately below it.

Spoiler:
Shadow Broker Terminal:
Emails from Dr. Jordan Detweiler to Kyra Detweiler


Letter 1: I know that you don’t understand what I did, but I need you understand why I did it. After the Geth attack on the Citadel the galaxy has been seeing synthetics everywhere. They’ve gone from being the occasional nuisance news story to the boogie man living under everyone’s bed. It is insane. The people, the media have gone insane. The Virtual Aliens are not synthetic, not really, they were once flesh and blood as we are and their only way to survive was to digitise themselves. I cannot allow them to be destroyed or enslaved by our prejudicial culture, they need the support of someone who has their best interests at heart.

Not only that, but this is the greatest first contact scenario since our disastrous first encounter with the Turians. I have to be here. Please understand that. Pass on love to your mother, and know that I will be home to see you as soon as I can.

Letter 9: I am sorry it’s taken so long to send you another email Kyra, but believe me, it has been longer for me than it has for you. I lose track of time when I’m in their world, but there is always more to see, more to learn, more to do. Our knowledge has increased tenfold in as many weeks (I think that is how many weeks it has been, keeping track grows evermore difficult) and we’ve barely scratched the surface of their technology, their culture, their history. Since Ambassador Sygan transferred to her new body we’ve spent a lot of time together. She is a fascinating specimen; each day I form new theses, and I’ve quickly amassed what could be an Encyclopedia of historical and social texts. When I can I will let you read it. I must go. All my love, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Letter 27: They lied! Integration into the Citadel was promised in exchange for the “Virtual Aliens” advanced technology, and they’ve rescinded it. The Salarian Union fully control the project now; those offered asylum have been “encouraged” to return to the ship to help their people adjust to the “transition” from the digital world to the physical. I’ve no idea what is happening to them, once they arrive they disappear. Sygen fears for the future of her people, and I can’t say that I blame her.

This is a dark day for the galaxy, when we turn on the defenceless, bringing them terror instead of hope, extortion instead of trade, savagery instead of civilisation. I hope this mail reaches you.

Letter 33: Kyra, the words I write to you now are going to be my last. I have already sent a letter to your mother, and it is my hope that you both shall forgive me. I have done something foolish, but for the right reasons and I will always stand by my choice to do it. I would do it again in an instant.

The Salarian’s have cut the power to the Ghost Ship of Antilin, the great Ark is no more. In one move, the yellow-bellied bastards have killed a billion innocents who only wished to live. They had fled the death of their world and instead found despair, enslavement and genocide at the hands of those who they desperately longed friendship with. I could not stand by and allow them to finish the job. I grabbed the Ambassador, Sygen is the last of her kind and we fled via shuttle. As we left the research base the Salarian’s were harvesting the ship for its technology, like maggots on a corpse.

Our escape was short-lived. Their fighters gave chase but they bested us and we have been crippled. Somehow we made it through the Mass Relay but life support has failed, the air is all but gone. Sygen is in cyro and I’ve ejected the escape pod with her in it, but there is no room for me. I have included her trajectory with this message.

I love you Kyra. My final request for you is to find the ambassador, she is the last of her kind and the galaxy deserves to know why. I don’t care about the damned Reaper War, some acts are too heinous, they cannot be allowed to get away with it.


Once this has been read, a spectre terminal message appears.

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal:

Kyra Detweiler’s Investigation


We have picked up communications from Salarian sources that point towards a plot to discredit Kyra Detweiler, and chatter about a hunt to find Ambassador Sygen, the last of the Virtual Aliens. Considering the data we have, it is safe to assume that the Salarian’s are attempting to cover up the assassination and genocide once and for all. This is a dangerous situation; acting to protect Kyra Detweiler and rescuing the ambassador would reveal the truth of the destruction of the Virtual Aliens, but it could harm galactic unity in the process. A decision must be made; Protect Kyra, rescue Ambassador Sygen and provide Dr. Jordan’s Detweilers testimony or do nothing.


Choose No: This is the final branch of the Save Quarian/Doom Geth version of this quest, so neither option will go much further.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Dr. Detweiler”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

During a routine inspection of her shuttle pre-launch, C-Sec Officers discovered a stash of illegal drugs and proceeded to arrest her under suspicion of the ‘Use of Narcotics’, and ‘Possession with Intent to Supply’. Among the drugs on board were prescriptive medication alongside narcotics such as Minagen X3, Hallex and Red Sand, the biotic-enhancing stimulant that has run rampant through the galaxy since its first formulation on Mars. As she was led away, she had this to say;

“They’re not mine, I didn’t buy those! Damn you, it was the Salarians! You’ve got to believe me!”

This news has now thrown Miss Detweiler’s earlier press conference into a new light, with many now suspecting her ‘evidence’ came from the effects of drug-induced hallucinations rather than her own investigation. Numerous supporters of the outspoken critic have been quick to distance themselves from her earlier statements, and so far her family has yet to comment on the arrest. However, not all were ready to abandon her so quickly. CitSpaceTruth.net, a well-known conspiracy extranet site, had this to say:

“Isn’t this all rather convenient? A defenceless woman makes a stand against an all-powerful government and within a day she is arrested for possession? I think we all know Varren sh*t when we smell it.”

Readers may know CitSpaceTruth.net from their expansive emails earlier this year claiming the Virtual Aliens, spoken off by Kyra Detweiler, was an elaborate scheme to welcome the Geth into the Citadel. When pressed on the matter they gave no comment.


This will grant the following Codex Entry:

Codex/Aliens: Extinct Races

Virtual Aliens


Approximately 8,000 years ago, the virtual aliens faced an imminent crisis; their homeworld’s star was about to go supernova. To survive, the virtual aliens built a starship equipped with a network of supercomputers. One billion transferred their consciousnesses into the supercomputers, which contained an entire virtual world for them to inhabit. With a purpose-built AI piloting the ship and maintaining the virtual world, they departed their home system and began a millennia-long sojourn across the galaxy.

In 2185 CE, the virtual aliens’ starship entered the salarian-inhabited Antilin system. The starship’s AI sought help as the energy source keeping the ship and virtual world running was dwindling. When the “ghost ship” was first detected by the salarians, it was thought to be the vanguard of a geth attack because it emitted strong AI heuristics. Contact between the galaxy and the AI was first established by human exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, and afterwards a veil of secrecy was erected by the Council.

In 2187 CE, the Salarians took control of the project amid the chaos of the Reaper War. Instead of trading aid for the Virtual Aliens advanced scientific breakthroughs, they chose to lock down the project and turned off the virtual world, wiping out the one billion consciousnesses that lived in there. This genocide was a prelude to the tearing apart of the ghost ship to harvest any and all technology they could find. This war crime has escaped the notice of the galactic community.


Choose Yes: Again, this is the final branch of the Save Quarian/Doom Geth arch of the Virtual Alien mission. Though this would be the Paragon option, and morally the ‘right’ answer, it actually damages the trust between the Salarians and the Systems Alliance, weakening your position overall and threatening the stability of the war effort.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Dr. Detweiler;Salarian Union;Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

The galaxy has been stunned today by the accusation, and evidence, that the Salarians Union has committed genocide on a scale that some analysts claim matches that being attempted by the Reapers. Kyra Detweiler, daughter of famed Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, presented the evidence for journalists, before backing up her claims by presenting the sole survivor of the Virtual Aliens, Ambassador Sygen, to tell her version of the events.

Although at first many remained skeptical of the accusation, many in the media had found nothing in their databanks or on the extranet about the Virtual Aliens, but the appearance of the Ambassador clinched it as many journalists remembered the sensation when she first requested sanctuary in Citadel Space nearly two years ago. Her evidence was backed up by leaks from CitSpaceTruth.net, a leading conspiracy theorist extranet site, and information collected by the ST&R.

All the evidence so far paints a grim picture of the murder of nearly four hundred Virtual Aliens occupying bodies in the real world, of the killing of Dr. Detweiler as he attempted to bring the Ambassador to safety, the wiping out of a billion consciousnesses trapped in a virtual world and how the Salarian’s picked over the bones of the ghost ship, stealing their technology to use only for themselves.

In the aftermath of this statement, the Asari and Turian Councillors issued a joint statement:

“Evidence for the genocide of the so-called Virtual Aliens by the Salarian Union is extensive, but we are yet to see the full picture. In the future, an investigation will prove the truth of what has happened to them, but right now we are fighting a war for our very survival. We cannot afford to break out unity now. We request people remain patient and calm until the truth can be ascertained.”

The Salarian Councillor was not available for comment.


This provides the following War Assets:

War Asset: Listed for Alien
Citadel Defence Force (Updated)
Military Strength:
-3

The news of the genocide of the Virtual Aliens has led to riots, civil unrest and some vigiliantism against Salarian’s living on the Citadel. Decreasing the time spent by the Citadel Defence Force on fortifying the station.


War Asset: Listed for Alien
Ambassador Sygen
Military Strength:
-2

Though she has now gone into hiding, Ambassador Sygen has become a living martyr for anti-Salarian organisations and terror groups. It is not believed that she supports their activities, despite the crimes committed against her people.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Salarian Special Task Group (Updated)
Military Strength:
-20

Knowledge that the ST&R provided information to the media when revealing the genocide of the Virtual Aliens has led to the STG withdrawing most support for joint operations between the two forces. Only the most dire situations of need will see these two teaming up, albeit temporarily.


And also the following Codex Entry:

Codex/Aliens: Extinct Races

Virtual Aliens


Approximately 8,000 years ago, the virtual aliens faced an imminent crisis; their homeworld’s star was about to go supernova. To survive, the virtual aliens built a starship equipped with a network of supercomputers. One billion transferred their consciousnesses into the supercomputers, which contained an entire virtual world for them to inhabit. With a purpose-built AI piloting the ship and maintaining the virtual world, they departed their home system and began a millennia-long sojourn across the galaxy.

In 2185 CE, the virtual aliens’ starship entered the salarian-inhabited Antilin system. The starship’s AI sought help as the energy source keeping the ship and virtual world running was dwindling. When the “ghost ship” was first detected by the salarians, it was thought to be the vanguard of a geth attack because it emitted strong AI heuristics. Contact between the galaxy and the AI was first established by human exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, and afterwards a veil of secrecy was erected by the Council.

In 2187 CE, the Salarians took control of the project amid the chaos of the Reaper War. Instead of trading aid for the Virtual Aliens advanced scientific breakthroughs, they chose to lock down the project and turned off the virtual world, wiping out the one billion consciousnesses that lived in there. This genocide was a prelude to the tearing apart of the ghost ship to harvest any and all technology they could find. This war crime has been revealed to the galactic community, damaging relations between the various peoples of the Citadel.


This marks the end of the Virtual Alien storyline should you pick to wipe out the Geth. However, the story goes in a very different direction should you instead save them or bring peace to them both. Read on to Part 4-B to find out.
Last edited by Sil on 06 Oct 2016, 10:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "The Ghosts of Antilin" Text-Based Assignment (WIP)

Postby Sil » 25 Jul 2016, 22:45

Part Four-B

So for this part we’re slipping right the way back to the end of Priority: Rannoch. If you happened to save the quarians and wipe out the Geth, then you’ll have worked your way through Part 4-A. If you saved the Geth, or made peace between the two peoples, then you’ll see this part. Originally I had planned to make some of the content slightly different depending upon whether you just save the Geth or you make peace, but I feel that would add too much work for very little gain.

Unlike the last Part which began with the death of the famous Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, this one instead begins with an email from him. As Commander Shepherd has demonstrated that he is willing to side with, or at least help, Synthetics, this puts Dr. Detweiler more at ease about contacting him for help. The Salarian threat to the Ghost Ship of Antilin remains, but this time we can try to halt it before they commit genocide against the billions locked within it. In this, and future parts, we get to see why the Omni-VI Soldier research was added, although it should be pretty obvious to anyone reading this. As said, Part 4-B starts with an email.

Spoiler:
Email
I’ve heard you don’t fear Synthetics


From: Sender Blocked

Commander Shepherd,

My name is Dr. Jordan Detweiler. You may not have heard of me, but I’ve heard of you, especially what you did on Rannoch. Whatever the outcome of your decision, it was a bold move and must be commended. But, this is not the reason for this message.

I am an Exobiologist dealing primarily with First Contact scenarios. Roughly two years ago you might have heard of the Ghost Ship of Antilin, it was an ark full of a race the galaxy termed as “Virtual Aliens”. It is my hope that you have, as it is for their benefit that I write to you, to prevent a crime against civilisation from occurring. They are a fascinating people with technology that dwarfs our own, with the ability to transfer their consciousness from one body to another, but they are currently defenceless and at the mercy of some nefarious individuals.

The Salarians in control of the ship are preparing to turn on the inhabitants and steal the advanced tech. I doubt that the billion virtual aliens will survive it, and in a strange twist they have sent their Ambassador to the Citadel to round up the rest of their people who have claimed asylum on the Citadel. I dread to think what will happen to them if they return, I beg you to stop them from coming here, before it is too late. The Ambassador’s name is Sygen, she looks Asari but trust me, she is far from being one.

I’ve spent my life savings on bribing security to get this email through to you, and more importantly I’m staking my reputation on it. Don’t let me down.

-Dr. Jordan Detweiler


From there, you’re left with a choice; ignore it and carry on or go to the Spectre Terminal to activate the next part. I believe this should be mission-sensitive, if you go off to do a Priority mission or an N7 mission the log assumes that you said No to the Spectre Terminal message. Dr. Detweiler makes it clear that time is of the essence, so it makes sense to have it so the player needs to be quick about responding to it. The message at the Spectre Terminal is found below:

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal:

Track Down Ambassador Sygen


Records of the Ambassador are difficult to come by, there is little more documentation on her and the so-called Virtual Aliens other than the redacted Cerberus News Network articles that EDI managed to locate. There are obvious signs that some form of cover-up is in place, and if the email from Dr. Detweiler proves to be correct, then finding the ambassador could be the only way to prevent a terrible disaster from occurring. Authorising a search could locate this Sygen woman, and she may have answers.


Choose No: If you choose no then the story instead goes back to Path 4-A and follows that through in much the same way; Dr. Jordan takes it upon himself to save Ambassador Sygen when she returns with her people, the Virtual Aliens are wiped out and he is killed. This is obviously not the optimal path through the storyline.

Choose Yes: Shepherd uses his Spectre Terminal powers to seek out Ambassador Sygen, and successfully stops the 400 Virtual Aliens living secretly on the Citadel from leaving to return to the “Ghost Ship of Antilin”. Though this path is actually the best possible path, it does not seem that way when things start to go wrong, but the end is the best outcome for the story. The assignment requires you to then go to the Shadow Broker Terminal and there you’ll see this next part. This Shadow Broker Terminal message varies depending upon whether you saved the Destiny Ascension in Mass Effect 1. This should be one of the few times that the bool for that will need to be referenced. This also needs to take into account whether the Councillor was saved in Priority: Citadel II.

If you saved the Destiny Ascension and Salarian Councillor survives Priority: Citadel II:

Spoiler:
Shadow Broker Terminal:

Email Correspondence between Dalatrass Linron and Councillor Valern


Letter 1: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Valern

What is the status of the Antilin situation? I expected to receive a progress review by now. We need them to deliver.

Letter 2: Councillor Valern to Dalatrass Linron

Virtual Aliens are stubborn, short-sighted. They cannot grasp our need. Our fear. Here is a quote from Dr. Detweiler’s research that will explain:

“The travellers on the ark do not understand the concept of time as we do, this has been clear from the early days of our interactions, but was confirmed on 08/25/2185CE when a team of ignorant morons hacked into the virtual world. They were there less than six hours, but were inside the world for almost 180 years. Many on the project did not think such a thing was possible, but it does explain why diplomacy is barely moving; when years are as nothing to you, what are months, weeks, days or minutes?”

I will encourage the Science Chief that it is in his best interests to yield some results soon. But I have doubts he will succeed. We need a broader team of scientists for this mission. Asari specialists at the very least. Spinning the hoax theory and wiping the extranet of links to the Virtual Aliens was a mistake.

Letter 3: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Valern

I do not require quotes from so-called human specialists, Valern. Nor do we need the others involved. We have enough synthetic’s running wild in the galaxy, people do not need to fear yet another group of them.

Letter 4, 5, and 6: UNABLE TO BE TRACED

Letter 7: Councillor Valern to Dalatrass Linron

Your warnings regarding the Antilin situation have been noted. We are now past the final deadline.

My reports state that plundering the ship will yield usable prototypes within a month. Are you certain of this course of action? The ramifications are too severe.

Letter 8: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Valern

I am certain. Who will care to lose digital people? No-one believes that they exist. Even conspiracy theorists believe they were a hoax.

Engage the operation. Do not forget those that claimed asylum on the Citadel.

If that conscience of yours is struggling with this, do not allow it. Our survival may rest on this act.

Letter 9: Councillor Valern to Dalatrass Linron

So be it.


If you let the Destiny Ascension be destroyed, and the Salarian Councillor survives Priority: Citadel II:

Spoiler:
Shadow Broker Terminal:

Email from Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Esheel


Letter 1: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Esheel

Do you have an update on the Antilin situation? I expected to receive a progress review by now. We need them to deliver.

Letter 2: Councillor Esheel to Dalatrass Linron

They do not view time as we do, in the space of Galactic Standard Hours, years pass in their world. It makes diplomacy frustrating when years mean nothing to them.

I require more researchers to find a way to encourage the transfer of technology. I am sure you will be willing to provide them.

You shall receive an update when it is necessary.

Letter 3: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Esheel

You will have the researchers. Do not test me, Esheel. Remember who put you there.

Letter 4: UNABLE TO BE TRACED

Letter 5: Dalatrass Linron to Councillor Esheel

Your deadline has passed.

Tear it apart. Do not allow them to overlook anything. Who knows what could save us from the Reapers.

Notify me as soon as the operation is complete.

Letter 6: Councillor Esheel to Dalatrass Linron

Yes, Dalatrass.

The Chief of Research has been notified. The operation will begin shortly.


If you let the Salarian Councillor die during Priority: Citadel II:

Spoiler:
Shadow Broker Terminal:

Emails from Dalatrass Linron to Antilin Chief of Research


Letters 1-9: UNABLE TO BE TRACED

Letter 10: Dalatrass Linron to Antilin Chief of Research

You have had enough time. We need their technology, it is unwholesome but you have read the reports. Our need is greater than theirs. They staved off extinction for 8,000 years, even one year more for us will be worth it.

Begin the operation. I want hourly updates on your progress.

I will deal with those who claimed asylum.

Letter 11: Antilin Chief of Research to Dalatrass Linron

I will not authorise genocide.

Letter 12: Dalatrass Linron to Antilin Chief of Research

You have been replaced. Your deputy has been promoted and has engaged the operation under my authority.

There should be no morality in research. Especially not when our extinction is on the horizon.


This Shadow Broker Terminal message is also found at the same time, regardless of Salarian Councillor:

Spoiler:
Shadow Broker Terminal:

Huerta Memorial Hospital - Medical Report: Ambassador Sygen


Doctor On Call: Dr. Ravin

Patient Name: “Sygen”
Clearance Level: Ambassador, Unknown Embassy Office
Species: Asari
Gender: N/A

Diagnosis:
Extensive damage to torso; stomach punctured, bleeding liver, multi-organ failure, heavy blood loss.

Additional Doctors Notes: The patient was shot in the stomach but time taken to bring her to the hospital was negligent. Complaint procedures have been input against C-Sec Officers who were slow to respond.

Treatment Options:
The damage to the patient is irreparable. She will suffer a slow, agonising death.
Inducing a coma to reduce the stress and pain of her final hours.


Treatment Delivered:
The patient has been put into an induced coma to alleviate her suffering. There is little else that can be done for her. We have attempted to locate her next of kin but there is no record of this woman’s family, and no records of her friends.


The next part of the story follows on from those Shadow Broker messages. Shepherd now has the information that confirms Dr. Jordan Detweiler’s suspicions and must now act upon it. Not only does he need to deal with the Salarian’s plot to harvest the Virtual Aliens “ghost ship” for it’s advanced tech which will likely end with the death of all of the Virtual Aliens, but he also needs to deal with Ambassador Sygen’s attempted (or rather, delayed) murder. Not only is there multiple choices to factor in, but there is the additional problem that two people mentioned in this part actually can die in the games (Jondum Bau and Major Kirrahe), which adds further levels of complexity. This part is somewhat confusing and complicated, so please bear with me as I write it out. To make this easier to read through, I am going to make everything that happens from now on into Part 5-B1, Part 5-B2, Part 5-B3.

EDIT: THIS HAS BEEN CHANGED. PART 5-B1 USES JONDUM BAU BUT PART 5-B2 USES THE SALARIAN STG. THERE IS VERY LITTLE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO, SO THE LAST PART SHALL ONLY CONTAIN THOSE SMALL CHANGES.

Part Five-B1

Part 5-B1 has the pre-requisite that the Spectre, and Salarian Task Group member, Jondum Bau is alive. For him to be alive, you must have completed the mission Citadel: Hanar Diplomat earlier in the game, which I believe happens before Priority: Citadel II. In this version of the story Shepherd has the choice to offer Jondum Bau the evidence collected and to persuade him to order an offensive on the Antilin system to prevent the genocide of the Virtual Aliens.

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal:

Provide Jondum Bau with evidence of the Antilin Plot


The Virtual Aliens will be wiped out by the Salarians, they are considered to be little more than a hoax story that few remember and their technology is incredibly advanced. Their doom could quickly provide the galaxy with technology it needs to survive the Reapers, but saving them could give us access to far greater scientific knowledge and would spare the Salarians from committing another war crime. It is too risky for a human spectre to get involved in their affairs, even with the risk of the genocide of the Virtual Aliens. Jondum Bau is a Spectre, but also a member of the Special Tasks Group, and has shown that he would risk his own life to save a world full of aliens, but also that he trusts you. Authorising the transfer of evidence regarding the Salarian Union and their plans should allow Jondum Bau to act and prevent the plot from succeeding, without the political fallout.


Choose No: This choice once more leads towards a bad ending, perhaps worse than some of the other ones.

Spoiler:
Email
Genocide


From: Sender Blocked

It’s Jordan Detweiler. I sent an email about Antilin, and everything I said has come true. They’re moving to wipe them out, I can see them disconnecting the battery from here. Sygen and the others never returned, I should thank you for that.

There is nothing I can do to stop them. But I will try. Please, don’t let the galaxy forget what the Salarians have done.

-Dr. Jordan Detweiler


You then receive these War Assets:

War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Pilot Training Simulator
Military Strength:
+5

The Salarians have built a revolutionary training simulator for their fighter pilots that reduces the time spent educating them from months down to weeks. This development has allowed the Salarians to replenish their lost pilots at swifter rate, in turn improving the security of their worlds and ships.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Kinetic City-Shield Batteries
Military Strength:
+15

Recent breakthroughs in the fields of power conservation technology has given the Salarians an increased chance of survival now that they can field immense kinetic barriers that cover their smaller towns and colonies. Reports have suggested that they can sustain themselves against multiple attacks by Reaper ships, though they quickly break under a sustained assault. These barriers should save countless innocent lives on their worlds by protecting them as they board refugee ships. The Salarian Union has not chosen to share this technology with the rest of the galaxy.


War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Cerebral Storage Device
Military Strength:
+5

An experimental device has been created by the Salarians that they claim captures the mind of a dying person, ready to implant their consciousness into a flash clone body. Though temperamental in nature at this time, further refinements have been completed on the second generation of this device, it is not yet ready to test. A number of soldiers of the STG and Salarian Scientists caught in the Reaper War have been brought back this way.


War Asset: Listed for the Systems Alliance
Dr. Jordan Detweiler
Military Strength:
-1

Famed human Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has been found dead.


Also this Codex Entry:

Codex/Aliens: Extinct Races

Virtual Aliens


Approximately 8,000 years ago, the virtual aliens faced an imminent crisis; their homeworld’s star was about to go supernova. To survive, the virtual aliens built a starship equipped with a network of supercomputers. One billion transferred their consciousnesses into the supercomputers, which contained an entire virtual world for them to inhabit. With a purpose-built AI piloting the ship and maintaining the virtual world, they departed their home system and began a millennia-long sojourn across the galaxy.

In 2185 CE, the virtual aliens’ starship entered the salarian-inhabited Antilin system. The starship’s AI sought help as the energy source keeping the ship and virtual world running was dwindling. When the “ghost ship” was first detected by the salarians, it was thought to be the vanguard of a geth attack because it emitted strong AI heuristics. Contact between the galaxy and the AI was first established by human exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, and afterwards a veil of secrecy was erected by the Council.

In 2187 CE, the Salarians took control of the project amid the chaos of the Reaper War. Instead of trading aid for the Virtual Aliens advanced scientific breakthroughs, they chose to lock down the project and turned off the virtual world, wiping out the one billion consciousnesses that lived in there. This genocide was a prelude to the tearing apart of the ghost ship to harvest any and all technology they could find. This war crime has escaped the notice of the galactic community.


With this email we can pretty much see that the Virtual Aliens have been wiped out, or are in the process of it. The story won’t go any further for this version of events as there isn’t much need. If the player didn’t try to stop the Salarians from wiping out the Virtual Aliens, what is the point of then giving them the option to tell the galaxy what they’ve done? It wouldn’t make sense, so that is as far as it goes.


Choose Yes: This option is setting the player on course for the best possible scenario for the Virtual Alien storyline. When you’ve read the email, it’ll lead onto the Spectre Terminal message regarding finding Ambassador Sygen’s attackers. It may seem like the story isn’t going 100% well because of certain parts of the email, but sometimes things have to get a bit worse before they get better.

Spoiler:
Email
Antilin


From: Sender Blocked

Commander:

This is Jondum Bau.

You sent evidence regarding a conspiracy. If it had not been for your involvement in saving Kahje, I would have not believed it. Your evidence proved to be faultless.

The situation with the “Ghost Ship of Antilin” has been resolved. With minimal casualties on all sides, and minimal damage to the ship. My people were very close to a deed that would be unforgivable by the rest of the galaxy. We would have been outcast as so many species before us. You spared us that, and I thank you for it.

However, all is not well. The Virtual Aliens are distraught because of the attempt. They would calm if there had been word from their Ambassador, but there has been no news regarding her whereabouts and no messages. They are understandably upset, but after seeing their ark up close… it is vital we keep them on our side.

If you need anything else, let us at the ST&R and the STG know.

Sincerely,
Jondum Bau, STG, ST&R


Which nets you the following War Asset:

War Asset: Listed for the Salarians
Salarian Special Tasks Group (Updated)
Military Strength:
+3

Following Shepherd turning to Jondum Bau and the STG to help stop the Ghost Ship of Antilin being destroyed, the Special Tasks Group is prepared to offer more operatives to the war effort under Shepherd’s guidance.


After that, you receive more emails:

Email
Virtual Aliens


From: Dr. Jordan Detweiler

Commander Shepherd,

I can now email you freely. You have no idea what a relief that is to my bank account.

I spoke with the Spectre Jondum Bau, he revealed how you set this in motion. You have not only my thanks, but the gratitude of a billion people. That’s bound to be something that you have not experienced before. One of the few things, from what I have heard about you.

You should know that the Salarian researchers were, for the most part, as thrilled as I was for the interruption from the Spectre and the STG. The thought of committing genocide was unbearable for many here.

The Virtual Aliens are nervous, they are desperate to hear from Sygen. I know what has happened to her and I am returning to the Citadel with the ark. I may have the key to saving her. I have already asked a great deal of you, and no doubt you have little time to spare, but is there anything you can do catch those responsible for the attempt on her life? I, and a billion others, would be most grateful.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jordan Detweiler


Email
ANN Alert: News Article on the “Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

The citizens of the Citadel had a surprise last night when a space Ark emerged through the Widow Mass Relay, close enough to the space station to be seen without the use of telescopes. Alerts and safety scenarios that were put into place after the Cerberus coup were used but the alarm was short-lived. The AI controlling the ship has broadcast a message to the embassies demanding word on their Ambassador, and their people who had claimed asylum on the station.

The structure loomed ominously over the Citadel for close to three hours, before the Asari Embassy managed to persuade the Ark to move into a less threatening position along the trading route to Boltzmann system, and for the ship to send a delegation to meet with the Council. Early reports from within the Embassy District claim that this ship is the same as the one linked to many conspiracy theories and a supposed hoax from two years ago. One of the leading conspiracy theorist extranet sites, CitSpaceTruth.net, gave this statement:

“We don’t know for certain if this really is the Ghost Ship of Antilin, and there’s no way in hell we’ll believe it until we see those Virtual Aliens with our own eyes. We can’t trust the Council’s voice in this.”

In other news, famed Exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has been spotted on the Citadel. It is speculated that he travelled to the station on the Ark. ANN will continue to provide updates on this story when they are available.


The arrival of the ship in space above the station forces the galaxy to once more acknowledge their presence, and gives a more urgent need to helping them out in the next Spectre Terminal message. We're close to the end now, this Spectre Terminal message is the second to last, so the story is almost over!

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal

Track Ambassador Sygen’s Attacker


C-Sec did not chase down the person who attempted to kill the Ambassador, and a complaint has been lodged against them for how slowly they handled bringing the victim to Huerta Memorial Hospital. It is not uncommon for C-Sec to be bribed, and it appears that this was the case here as well. Authorise a hunt for the one who shot the ambassador, but also for the C-Sec Officers who were paid to overlook the crime and the well-being of the patient.


Choose No: This leads to a dead end for the story, but it is not wholly bad. You still earn a number of War Assets, and you’ve still managed to protect the Virtual Aliens from going extinct. They’re alive now, but in this scenario they don’t offer much to support the war effort. Their pledges are small, and then they flee the genocide raging across the stars, as they feel there is no place for them and it is too dangerous to stay both because of the Reapers -and- the Citadel.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on the “Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

The situation regarding the Ghost Ship of Antilin came to a close today, when the ark passed through the Widow Mass Relay to an unspecified location. Prior to leaving, shuttles delivered those Virtual Aliens that had claimed asylum back to their ship. This news came in the wake of the death of Ambassador Sygen, who was killed in a shooting in the Docks. The perpetrator has yet to be caught.

On leaving the system, they broadcast the following message:

“We drifted into your space peacefully, we sought aid and safety, we did not find what we had hoped. Those who have helped us will be remembered, but to all others we request only this; leave us alone.”

Following their departure ANN interviewed Dr. Jordan Detweiler, a specialist in the Virtual Aliens and had been a close friend to their Ambassador. He had this to say:

“I worked closely with the ‘Virtual Aliens’ ever since their arrival close to two years ago, they were a fascinating people who we had only scratched the surface of, but I don’t blame them for leaving. The galaxy is too dangerous for them, they’ve fled danger into danger. I hope they find safety, somewhere.”

ANN will continue to provide information on their whereabouts for as long as we can.


And you get the following War Assets:

War Asset: Listed as “Alien”
Advanced Scientific Theorem
Military Strength:
+5

The Virtual Aliens had technology far more advanced than that displayed by Citadel Space. In a parting gift to Dr. Jordan Detweiler, they gave him theories on many fields of science. These have been donated to the people, in the hope that they will lead to useful prototypes to aid in the war against the Reapers.


War Asset: Listed for the Crucible
Antilin Battery Arrays
Military Strength:
+5

Named after the star system that the Virtual Aliens first arrived in, knowledge of these advanced batteries were gleaned during Salarian research while trying to recharge them but the knowledge was also left in the hands of the Council on their departure from Citadel Space. These batteries are based upon those that power the Ark of Antilin, which lasted for thousands of years before finally coming close to failing.


War Asset: Listed for the Crucible
Dr. Jordan Detweiler
Military Strength:
+2

Famed human Exo-biologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has moved from the Virtual Aliens project in the Antilin system after having altered the Spectres to a plot to harvest their ark for technology. With the Virtual Aliens now gone, he has volunteered his services for the Crucible project, where he helps bridge the gaps between the various species on board and works to understand the extinct peoples who left the blueprints behind.


Choose Yes: This will lead onto another Spectre Terminal message, the last one, in fact. But before that there are the usual, emails etc.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article on the “Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Commander Bailey has announced that a Salarian has been arrested for the attempted, and potentially successful, murder of the Virtual Alien Ambassador Sygen. No details on the identity of this perpetrator are known at this time. In more embarrassing news, he has also announced two C-Sec Officers have been arrested in relation to this case on Corruption charges.

Both the Citadel Council and the Ark of Antilin have expressed gratitude at C-Sec catching those responsible so quickly. The AI who looks after the Virtual Aliens has made it clear that the situation is not yet fully dealt with as it still wishes for the return of Ambassador Sygen and the others who claimed asylum, citing that physical space is not safe enough for them to reside in at this time.

We interviewed the close personal friend of Ambassador Sygen, Dr. Jordan Detweiler, outside Huerta Memorial Hospital today:

“It’s wonderful to hear that C-Sec have finally done their job, but this is far from over. I have the means to save the Ambassador through technology that her own people created, but our medical regulations are preventing me from using it. Sygen swapped her mind into an unwanted body to get the one she currently lives in, and if she had another we could save her.”


War Asset Received:

War Asset: Listed for “Alien”
Citadel Defence Force (Updated)
Military Strength:
-2

The corruption in C-Sec has made applicants more wary about signing on. Recruitment has dropped.


This then leads to another Email:

Email
ANN Alert: News Article on “Virtual Aliens;Synthetic Insights Ltd;Geth”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Synthetic Insights, who recently over-turned a slow decline in fortune with their Omni-VI Soldiers, has been in talks with Dr. Jordan Detweiler, spokesperson for the Virtual Aliens on the Citadel.

After hearing his plea regarding Ambassador Sygen, they have offered up an altered code of their Omni-VI programme to give the ambassador a new body but the Citadel Council is blocking private companies from attempting to get involved in talks with the Ark of Antilin.

They are not the only party interested in talking to the Ark. The Geth have also been attempting to establish diplomatic relations with the Ark, but sources say that they too, are being blocked.

Dr. Jordan Detweiler has thanked all parties interested in contacting the Virtual Aliens, but requests that they make contact with him before attempting anything rash to get their attention.


This brings us to the finale! This is the final Spectre Terminal message and then that’s it, no more Virtual Alien storyline. This can lead to the best possible ending, should you choose yes.

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal

Save Ambassador Sygen


Synthetic Insights Ltd has offered up an altered code for their Omni-VI research as a basis to give the Virtual Aliens, primarily Ambassador Sygen, new bodies in which to live in the physical world. The Citadel Council is currently blocking all attempts by the company to talk to the Ark of Antilin, but this research could save the ambassador and also provide the galaxy with thousands of new troops, scientists, and engineers.


Choose No: This takes you back a step to if you choose not to help find the Salarian who shot Ambassador Sygen.

Choose Yes: This is the best possible outcome for the storyline. You get this far, then you’ve done it. You’ve saved the virtual aliens, you’ve saved the Ambassador and though not all is well, it’s better than the bad endings. So, here are the last few bits you see.

Spoiler:
Email
ANN Alert: News Article for “Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

Virtual Alien Ambassador Sygen was released from Huerta Memorial Hospital today following a mind transfer from her former dying body into a Omni-VI shell made by the researchers at Synthetic Insights Ltd. Before leaving the hospital, she gave a statement praising the staff there as well as those who enabled her operation to go forward. She has affirmed her own personal support for the Citadel in their war against the Reapers and will return to the Ark of Antilin to present a case for more of her kind to have physical shells like her own.

The news has been greeted with both celebration and consideration from all corners, many of whom were vocal when they first arrived nearly two years ago. Here are a selection of their comments:

Niran Patalung, Human Buddhist Scholar - “It’s a welcoming thought that the Virtual Aliens continue on a parallel with our ancient human beliefs in reincarnation, especially the literal usage on display here. I would be interested in discussing it at length with them.”

Elgus Paramon, Turian Evolutionary Biologist - “I once claimed they had reached an evolutionary dead-end, that their civilisation should be allowed to perish, but I was mistaken. It appears they have transcended us all, their new form is an evolution of their digital presence.”

ANN will bring you more coverage of this riveting event as it develops.


You get this War Asset:

War Asset: Listed for “Alien”
Ambassador Sygen
Military Strength:
+2

The Ambassador has become a symbol of strength for both synthetics and organics, she is the living embodiment of a middle-ground between the two, an organic that is now synthetic. She wields strong influence with her people, and is working with the Ark of Antilin to transfer technology into the Citadel’s hands to protect the station, and galaxy at large.


Then this Email:

Email
Eternal Gratitude.


From: Ambassador Sygen

Shepherd, Commander of the Normandy,

I would prefer to convey my gratitude in person for all that you have done, but my time is short and I have much to attend to. I have been given extensive details on the plot that you overthrew, of your hunt for the one who attempted my murder, and of your insistence on my new form.

This breakthrough from Synthetic Insights has given my people a true chance of living in the physical world once more, after more years than any in this space can possibly imagine. I will not say that this shell is perfect, there is a vast difference between the form I had and this, my fourth in two years (a galactic record, I am told), but I am alive. That is more than I can repay you for.

I have spoken with the Ark of Antilin, the name your Citadel continues to inaccurately call my home, and it has agreed to allow any who wish for physical freedom to exist in the physical realm in these Omni-shells. Thousands of my people have already left and are awaiting transport to the Citadel. I told my people the tales of the Reaping, they wish for a place in this galaxy and so they will fight.

I cannot offer much more than my people, but there is technology that would benefit all. The specifications of which will be sent to you, and will be carried by my friend Jordan, Doctor of Exobiology, to the Crucible. Our hopes align now with yours.

- Sygen, Ambassador


Which nets you these War Assets:

War Asset: Listed for the Crucible
Dr. Jordan Detweiler
Military Strength:
+2

Famed human Exo-biologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler has moved from the Virtual Aliens project in the Antilin system after having altered the Spectres to a plot to harvest their ark for technology. With the Virtual Aliens now gone, he has volunteered his services for the Crucible project, where he helps bridge the gaps between the various species on board and works to understand the extinct peoples who left the blueprints behind.


War Asset: Listed as “Alien”
Advanced Scientific Theorem
Military Strength:
+15

The Virtual Aliens had technology far more advanced than that displayed by Citadel Space. In a gift to Dr. Jordan Detweiler, they gave him theories on many fields of science. These have been donated to the people, in the hope that they will lead to useful prototypes to aid in the war against the Reapers.


War Asset: Listed for the Crucible
Antilin Battery Arrays
Military Strength:
+5

Named after the star system that the Virtual Aliens first arrived in, knowledge of these advanced batteries were gleaned during Salarian research while trying to recharge them but the knowledge was also left in the hands of the Council on their departure from Citadel Space. These batteries are based upon those that power the Ark of Antilin, which lasted for thousands of years before finally coming close to failing.


Which leads to the Email:

Email
ANN Alert: News Article for “Virtual Aliens”


From: Alliance News Network Information Partners

The Citadel welcomed the first shuttle carrying the Virtual Aliens from their Ark to the station today. The holographic people were met by a delegation including the Asari and Turian Councillors, a Salarian Spectre and the Geth, who stubbornly insisted on a presence at this eventful moment. Ambassador Sygen met them at the Docks, accepting and participating in a cultural exchange of goods binding the many peoples together.

When she spoke, Ambassador Sygen re-confirmed her people's support for the Reaper War and her people shall be reinforcing many battlefields as well as the defences of the Citadel itself.

For many there was also bad news to accompany the good. The Ark of Antilin shall be leaving through the Mass Relay and going into hiding. Some have considered this cowardice, but many voices have risen in support for the Virtual Aliens, who have taken their first steps in the physical world straight into a galactic war.

Ambassador Sygen has made it clear that once the Reapers are defeated, the Ark shall return. Until then, she leads her people from a new Embassy Office on the Citadel.


And these War Assets are the last:

War Asset: Listed for “Alien”
Citadel Defence Force (Updated)
Military Strength:
+4

The Virtual Aliens have begun to reinforce the understaffed C-Sec, though inexperienced they are quick to learn their new profession. Training is almost half as long as an organic recruit.


War Asset: Listed for “Crucible”
Virtual Scientists
Military Strength:
+10

The Virtual Aliens are exceptionally advanced compared to the rest of Citadel space, even to the Salarians and Asari. As such their specialists have proven instrumental in understanding some of the finer, and more exotic, aspects of the Crucible’s construction.


War Asset: Listed for “Alien”
Omni-Fighters
Military Strength:
+5

Virtual Alien technology combined with the Omni-VI’s has given rise to small, weak but numerous holographic fighters for use in space combat. Though incapable of damaging their foes, these act as a screen for allies and a nuisance for the enemy. Whole swarms can be deployed on short notice.


And this Codex Entry:

Codex/Aliens

Virtual Aliens


Approximately 8,000 years ago, the virtual aliens faced an imminent crisis; their homeworld’s star was about to go supernova. To survive, the virtual aliens built a starship equipped with a network of supercomputers. One billion transferred their consciousnesses into the supercomputers, which contained an entire virtual world for them to inhabit. With a purpose-built AI piloting the ship and maintaining the virtual world, they departed their home system and began a millennia-long sojourn across the galaxy.

In 2185 CE, the virtual aliens’ starship entered the salarian-inhabited Antilin system. The starship’s AI sought help as the energy source keeping the ship and virtual world running was dwindling. When the “ghost ship” was first detected by the salarians, it was thought to be the vanguard of a geth attack because it emitted strong AI heuristics. Contact between the galaxy and the AI was first established by human exobiologist Dr. Jordan Detweiler, and afterwards a veil of secrecy was erected by the Council.

In 2187 CE, the Salarians took control of the project amid the chaos of the Reaper War. Instead of trading aid for the Virtual Aliens advanced scientific breakthroughs, they chose to lock down the project, but fortunately a plot to wipe them out was stopped. Despite their near-death experience, the Virtual Aliens have pledged to fight alongside the other races in the Reaper War.


And that is it. The Virtual Alien storyline is complete. Part 5-B2 is almost entirely the same, except for a couple of emails.

Part 5-B2

As mentioned in my edit earlier, this part no longer is specified at Captain Kirrahe and Part 5-B3 is removed. Instead this deals with using the STG alone to help the Virtual Aliens. Very little is different in this version, so I'll only post the changes here.

Spoiler:
Spectre Terminal:

Provide STG with evidence of the Antilin Plot
- Replaces "Provide Jondum Bau with evidence of the Antilin Plot"

The Virtual Aliens will be wiped out by the Salarians, they are considered to be little more than a hoax story that few remember and their technology is incredibly advanced. Their doom could quickly provide the galaxy with technology it needs to survive the Reapers, but saving them could give us access to far greater scientific knowledge and would spare the Salarians from committing another war crime. It is too risky for a human spectre to get involved in their affairs, even with the risk of the genocide of the Virtual Aliens. The STG have shown considerable support for you during the Reaper War. Authorising the transfer of evidence regarding the Salarian Union and their plans should allow the STG to act and prevent the plot from succeeding, without the political fallout.

Email
Antilin


From: Sender Blocked

Commander:

This is the STG

You sent us evidence regarding a conspiracy. Your evidence proved to be faultless.

The situation with in Antilin has been resolved. With minimal casualties on all sides, and minimal damage to the ship. My people were very close to a deed that would be unforgivable by the rest of the galaxy. You spared us that, and we thank you for it.

Not all is well. The Virtual Aliens are distraught because of the attempt. They would calm if there had been word from their Ambassador, but there has been no news regarding her whereabouts and no messages. They are understandably upset, but after seeing their ark up close… it is vital we keep them on our side.

If you need anything else, let us know.

- STG


Email
Virtual Aliens


From: Dr. Jordan Detweiler

Commander Shepherd,

I can now email you freely. You have no idea what a relief that is to my bank account.

I spoke with the STG, who revealed how you set this in motion. You have not only my thanks, but the gratitude of a billion people. That’s bound to be something that you have not experienced before. One of the few things, from what I have heard about you.

You should know that the Salarian researchers were, for the most part, as thrilled as I was for the interruption from the Spectre and the STG. The thought of committing genocide was unbearable for many here.

The Virtual Aliens are nervous, they are desperate to hear from Sygen. I know what has happened to her and I am returning to the Citadel with the ark. I may have the key to saving her. I have already asked a great deal of you, and no doubt you have little time to spare, but is there anything you can do catch those responsible for the attempt on her life? I, and a billion others, would be most grateful.

Sincerely,
Dr. Jordan Detweiler


And that's it, that's all that needs changing for that version. This is complete. I'm quite proud of it and hopefully you've enjoyed it, although I understand that it isn't too easy to read through. I'd love to do a slide-show version to give a good representation of how it'd look, but maybe someday.
Last edited by Sil on 27 Jul 2016, 23:19, edited 16 times in total.
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Re: "The Ghosts of Antilin" Text-Based Assignment (WIP)

Postby Sil » 25 Jul 2016, 22:45

*Reserved for Part 4-C*

Part 4-C will likely not happen. I may write it up eventually, but I'm happy with how it turned out in text-form only and it would take a -lot- of writing to make a more interactive version of the story involving actual conversations.

If anyone has ideas for how I can improve certain aspects of it, then please let me know. I'd love for Part Three, the EDI bit, to have an information gathering mission through scanning and running around to different terminals on the Citadel, but I couldn't think of anything.

Anyway.

Posts can happen now :)
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