[D&D] Mass Effect: Chapter 13 – Late Night TV Courtroom Drama

Since last session I was curious to see how Tiberus’ court martial was going to go. There were certain ways I was expecting it to finish but definitely didn’t expect the consequences we actually got. In retrospect I should have expected at least one of those given certain events.

Before we get into the meat of it though, I will try to insert a bit more of the fluffy RP we go through into these posts. In the past I cut them out from the write-up because they are already big as is and they don’t add anything to the main story. However they give a glimpse to each character’s personality and that might be interesting to some readers.

If I feel it is making these posts unmanageably big then I will get back to cutting them out.

Alright, with all that said here is my usual disclaimer:

English is not my native language. Although I can write and read it without issues, hearing and speaking is a different matter. I’d say I am at best 90% skilled at those. Also I have a terrible memory.

What this means is that there may be mistakes here. In case my group corrects anything I will make a note about it here later and in the next post.

Corrections from last post: These are few things from last post that my GM clarified. First, the report of 80% to 90% population lost in the mining colony is that it was assumed they were lost to the Reapers. The rest is assumed to be missing or hiding in the mining facility.

The last asari from Benia’s former group had a turian parent.

The name of the dwarf krogan was Stout. Gorger was the guy he was reporting to.

The Session

We still had a day of shore leave before the court martial. So each of us were busy with something. Lorik was training in persuasion, Labor was training with his new modded armor, Kronk was dictating a new book on biotics.

Sidona decided to use her time to find more information about that bounty on turian biotics. Thanks to her past with the criminal underworld1, she was able to find a contact fast. That contact then pointed her to another person who then pointed her to yet another one and so on until about 3 hours later she got the name of someone who could give her answers.

They setup a meeting in a back alley that had a gate to keep the native creatures out of the base. The one who met Sidona was, in the words of my GM, “an elcor in an adorable hoodie made for his size”.

To summarize their exchange, Sidona paid him some money for info and this is what she got:

The name of the person who posted the bounty was Tiem General. Sidona did a quick search with her omni-tool about that name but the search came up empty. She assumed it was an alias.

There were 3 drop-off locations in different sectors, all in Resistance owned planets. The instructions required that the targets to be dropped alive, preferably in stasis. Three people tried to turn in dead bodies but they were refused.

The contacts for delivery were Gen Mok, Tev Larian, Aria T’Rina. None of them had a permanent residence on record and had low level jobs with the Resistance, like maintenance, scrapping, etc.

The bounty was first posted about 2 years ago with a starting price of 20,000 credits. In the last months though the price raised dramatically to where it is now between 2 to 25 million credits.

After this exchange they parted ways with Sidona planning to do more investigation on her own later.

The next day the court martial finally started. Again, I will just try to summarize things for the sake of the text size.

It happened in a regular building used by the military. In the room for the trial we saw the captain of our platoon, a turian woman, who didn’t look amused by any of this. The prosecution was represented by an asari and the defense was being done by Commander Yulaya. Everybody else were people from different groups within the military to serve as impartial third parties.

The court martial was basically to determine if Tiberus was fit for his position as well as if he was working with the best interest of the Resistance in mind.

The trial may have happened in one of these buildings.

The prosecution brought up some cases from Tiberus’ past that showed that, to put it lightly, he made some really dubious decisions as a commander. In one case he may have caused the death of several innocent civilians. In another case he may have indirectly caused the death of a crew member.

Those cases also showed Tiberus to be someone who avoided any kind of socialization despite the best efforts of people under his command to befriend him.

Between these, Yulaya brought our characters as witnesses. We tried to put Tiberus under the best light possible while at the same time not contradicting our reports from the mining colony mission.

While all this was happening, Tiberus was really quiet, just looking down.

When the court martial was nearly over, someone came into the court room with a data pad and delivered it to the prosecution. After reading it the asari requested for it to be added to the case as evidence, which was accepted after some brief discussion between the prosecution, the defense and the judges.

This new evidence was an order to release Sudosa from prison and reinstate him as the leader of the farming colony. It was signed by Tiberus himself.

The prosecution then used this evidence to argue that Tiberus couldn’t let go of his Specter ways, where he could do whatever he wanted and was unfit for his current position.

Tiberus stood up, looking like he was going to protest but then thought back, sat down again and talked in hushed tones with Yulaya.

Commander Yulaya then tried his best to refute these accusations but it was all for nothing. In the end Tiberus was demoted. The captain of the platoon then ordered Tiberus to visit her office after the trial.

Before we left, Yulaya came to us, saying that he would look into this release order. For now he wanted to gather his thoughts as well as look for a new officer to the gunner position for our crew. Also in a couple of days he should have the details of a new mission for us.

Then the commander went over to Tiberus, apologized to him, but said that nobody was immune to consequences. Yulaya however still believed that Tiberus had the best intentions for the Resistance and he hoped this experience would help him grow as a person.

Space map just to break the text! Take a drink!

We still had a couple more days of leave.

Lorik was still training on persuasion. But during one of the breaks, he met up with Dustin who proposed to add someone else to their little book club2. Lorik suggested to invite Labor since this way they could learn more of geth culture, which Dustin agreed to.

Dustin also mentioned that he was looking for a retro device, a Blu-Ray player, which Lorik never heard of. But he knew someone who probably sold it and pointed Dustin to Sleazy’s store.

Later on, during another break, Lorik went looking for Labor then invited him to the book club. There was a small misunderstanding where Labor thought it was about clubbing people on the head with books but after some clarification he agreed to join it.

Kronk was still dictating his book on biotics when Seraph came to ask for a favor. Kronk agreed to listen to it, at least, then she took him to her quarters where there were several pieces of Loki mechs scattered around. In one corner there was a complete one but really battered.

Seraph then explained that she participates in tournaments where Loki mechs fight each other and she has been fixing this one for one for an upcoming tournament. She was hoping though that Kronk could program it to box like him.

Kronk then pointed out that he graduated with a major in biology and minor in engineering, therefore programming a robot was outside his area of expertise. But Labor could probably do it.

Seraph felt embarrassed that she didn’t think of Labor first but she could still use Kronk’s help. If he agreed to let the AI record him shadow boxing then Seraph would take half of Kronk’s shift on the ship’s drive engine. Kronk agreed…. even though his work boils down to pressing a button and things happen. Engineering truly is magic!

Labor was training with his new armor, which has been painted yellow with a smiling sun as its insignia, when he got a visitor. It was Dustin who had come to invite Labor to the book club. Labor patiently explained that Lorik had invited him to it already.

In the middle of the conversation Labor was taking some books off from the only chair in his quarters so his human colleague could sit. But Dustin had to leave before that.

Then while Labor was putting the books back on the chair, another visitor came. This time it was Seraph who asked if Labor could program a Loki mech to fight. Labor then pointed to the drone on his table that he programmed himself. This led to some unintentional prejudice against synthetics from Seraph but she quickly apologized for the blunder.

Despite this misunderstanding Labor agreed to help. Once again he was taking books off the chair to offer a seat but Seraph just went back to work before Labor finished it.

At this point Labor just gave up on putting the books back on the chair. Then a third visitor came, it was Bygone. According to him, his chair broke but he wanted to sit down in one just to understand why organics do it so much. Labor let his geth colleague sit but pointed out that Bygone should just request the maintenance crew to fix his chair. Bygone agreed that was something he should have considered doing first.

The Plankton, home to many of our shenanigans.

While all these shenanigans were going on at the Plankton, Sidona decided to continue her investigations on the turian biotics bounty. Accessing the Resistance’s medical records she discovered there were still three people within the organization that matched the criteria for the bounty.

None of them looked like they earned enough to put a bounty like that as they all had humble jobs like farming, cleaning and maintenance. Something about the maintenance one called Sidona’s attention as he had disappeared not too long ago and a week later somebody tried to claim the bounty with a dead body with the same ID.

The name of the maintenance man was Falus Quanian. His medical records showed that for most of his life he had the same family doctor. But the last couple doctor visits on record were with a different one. The name of this last doctor was Serius Globlienus.

Sidona made a note of the doctor’s name but decided to do more investigation later, when she had more time.

The next day they it was time to get another mission from Yulaya. Thanks to the data we recovered, the Resistance discovered the identities of the Triumvirate, the leaders of the Hades Initiative.

These are the briefings we got on them:

Arya Kabal

Arya was once a Matriach. She was found to be an ardat-yakshi and thought killed by Justicar Samara. She has been discovered to still be alive, which led evidence from many unsolved crimes to be connected to her. Crimes that Arya is known for include murders, racketeering, and running illegal sex worker rings.

She was the first to fill the power vacuum left by the disappearance of the Illusive Man, but was quick to create a new governmental body now known as the Hades Initiative.

Arya has no known next-of-kin.

General Dawn Hammer

Real name Zaerrokk Dunhamr. He gained the nickname Dawn Hammer during a run in with a human platoon he captured and was interrogating. During his military career Dunhamr became more and more unstable until he was forced to retire as a General.

However he was never able to adapt to civilian life. Eventually Dunhamr created a mercenary group called the Universal Guard. According to intel he allied his new military group with the new Cerberus coalition to create the Hades Initiative.

Yulaya also noted that he never worked under General Dawn Hammer. However he met the man a few times before Dunhamr retired. Even back then Yulaya didn’t like him and he has no idea why Dunhamr would join an organization like the Hades Initiative.

Jessica Lunsford

Human biotic and Specter hopeful, Jessica was dishonorably discharged from service when she was found guilty of a military equipment smuggling ring. She had been selling stolen equipment to random colonies of humans and other species and collected a fortune. The money was never recovered and she escaped from prison.

It was believed that she was one of the contacts for the Shadow Broker, possibly even holding the title for a short while.

She has no known prior contact with the Illusive Man or Cerberus.

Our targets!

Upper command considered the first two too hostile to work with the Resistance. But some of them considered that Jessica could be persuaded for an alliance. However there was not a consensus for that and some thought all three should be eliminated.

Due to that lack of consensus, Yulaya was leaving it up to our discretion on how to handle the mission.

Labor pointed out that we might not be the best team to send after them, given that most our teams identities is known by the Hades Initiative now. Although Yulaya agreed, he informed us that due to recent events command was putting us on a much smaller leash and they wanted to see how we acted.

As for the target’s locations that was something HQ wasn’t able to figure out. But they did find some contacts that could help us out.

The first was in the Omega Nebula, an asari that apparently had some dealings with the Hades Initiative. She wasn’t a member of the Resistance so we should not reveal our association, least it be used against us.

If we can discover this asari’s relationship with Arya Kabal it could lead us to our target.

The second contact was a krogan, who was already a part of the resistance. His last known location was in the Nemean Abyss. This krogan has some history with General Hammer Dawn and was very anxious to get back at him so we should be careful on how we approach the subject.

The last contact was already in HQ. In fact they were going to join our team. At this moment, Tiberus entered the room. 3

Tiberus tried to apologize for his past behavior but Yulaya chastised him, reminding him that we were still in a meeting.

The reason for Tiberus to be our last contact is that he worked with Jessica Lunsford in the past. He was the one evaluating if she could become a Spectre but that ended prematurely when her crimes were discovered.

Yulaya also told us that Tiberus had been demoted to Lieutenant and was going to be our new gunner.

I don’t know about the others but that took me completely by surprise. I never imagined our group would work with Tiberus again, much less that he would be under our command.

Lorik was also appointed as temporary communications officer, given his recent training on it.

Once we were dismissed, Labor went to Tiberus and said, as a joke, “It is nice to meet a new recruit who is willing to work his way up the totem pole.” For a moment it looked like Tiberus was angry enough to punch Labor but then he laughed, apologized for his past behavior once again and offered a hand shake.

Outside the building our party was surprised by a bunch of Military Police running around HQ, looking for someone. Labor then approached one of the MPs, a turian, and asked what was going on.

The MP told the party that Stout, the dwarf krogan we captured a while ago, had escaped from prison.

We of course joined the hunt for the fugitive. Labor sent his drone to look over the air while everybody else followed by car. 4

They soon found Stout inside a communications building. The first to get inside were Sidona and Labor. On the floor there were several people lying down with their hands over their heads. On the counter there was a turret ready to shoot anyone that entered. Sidona took some shots from it resulting in minor injuries. Labor however was able to dodge and used the opportunity to hack the turret, turning it off.

Sidona asked the hostages where Stout went and they pointed it to the stairs leading up. At this point the rest of the team caught up. Labor ordered Tiberus to escort the hostages out while everybody else followed Sidona upstairs, with Kronk using his cloak powers to become invisible.

On the first floor there were several cubicles which would be easy for Stout to hide. After a quick search they didn’t find anything. On the second floor though they found the krogan typing something at a terminal with a hostage by the floor.

Lorik shouted for Stout to turn around slowly with his hands on his head. It took a few moments for the orders to be obeyed and it looked like the krogan was up to something. At this moment Kronk came running, charging at Stout just as the invisibily cloak power ran out. As they both fell down to the floor, the rest of the party just saw a mass effect bolt being released upwards and destroying part of the ceiling.

This is where our session ended. Looks like we’ll have a lot to deal with next session.

Notable Quotes

It’s like that Morrowind warning box: where we’ve completely failed and are persisting in the doomed world we’ve created.

Labor, OOC

Can we adopt him?

Sidona, OOC

I did a pretty good job at pressing the button that last time!

Kronk

We should do a blood pact where we swear to never reveal all these secrets until the day we die.

Lorik, OOC
  1. Don’t ask me, I know about it as much as you
  2. It is something they started a while ago. At this point it consisted of Lorik, Lt. Ramirez and Dustin.
  3. I am wondering if standing outside briefing rooms waiting to enter in a dramatic moment is Tiberus’ hobby or if he has some kind of super power for that. Would he show up if our group are in a random meeting and mention Tiberus’ name?
  4. Yes, we went in the sports car that Labor claimed from Benia. It has been repaired and painted with yellow highlights

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